Commemorating 25 years of recording, contemporary jazz legends Spyro Gyra move to Heads Up International with a fresh new collection, In Modern Times (enhanced CD HUCD 3061).
Arguably contemporary instrumental music's most popular band, Spyro Gyra was founded in 1975 by saxophonist and producer Beckenstein. The band's infectious sound became a forerunner of many of today's most popular styles. Spyro Gyra became a household name in 1979 when they broke onto the pop charts with the #1 AC hit "Morning Dance."
"The bottom line is, even after 25 years, we're just not going away," says bandleader Jay Beckenstein. "With each recording, I feel like I'm playing with a whole new band. I think that In Modern Times is one of our strongest albums to date. We've remained open to new ideas while keeping our identity. I'm really pleased that this album manages to be both contemporary and yet tied to our past."
"Our music definitely fits into the stream of contemporary jazz, fusion and R&B based performers who mix various elements into an unique sound," says Beckenstein. "Because we mix ideas, we've always been a bit difficult to peg, but there's always the strong component of improvisation that draws upon the jazz tradition."
An active touring band who knows their audience well, Spyro Gyra has created its own instrumental hybrid, incorporating elements of jazz, R&B, Latin and Brazilian music. In addition to Beckenstein, the group features Tom Schuman on keyboards, Julio Fernandez on guitars, Scott Ambush on bass and Joel Rosenblatt on drums.
"People love to try to label the music we make, but I look at us simply as a group of five guys who play well together, who write good melodies and great songs," says Beckenstein. "All five of us are proficient writers, which helps keep the variety interesting. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."