Down the Wire

Down the Wire

4.0 2
by Spyro Gyra
     
 

Creatively, Spyro Gyra have certainly had their ups and downs over the years. Leader/saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and his colleagues have recorded some real gems along the way, but they have also recorded their share of boring, forgettable "elevator muzak." Thankfully, there isn't an iota of "elevator muzak" to be found on Down theSee more details below

Overview

Creatively, Spyro Gyra have certainly had their ups and downs over the years. Leader/saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and his colleagues have recorded some real gems along the way, but they have also recorded their share of boring, forgettable "elevator muzak." Thankfully, there isn't an iota of "elevator muzak" to be found on Down the Wire, which is among the studio albums that captures the sort of energy and vitality Spyro Gyra are known for projecting on-stage. There are no misguided attempts to emulate Kenny G, Richard Elliot, or Najee on this 2009 release; Down the Wire is a legitimate fusion album -- accessible and melodic, but risk-taking, edgy, and faithful to jazz' improvisatory spirit. Beckenstein offers plenty of inspired solos, and Spyro Gyra (whose 2009 lineup also includes keyboardist Tom Schuman, guitarist Julio Fernandez, bassist Scott Ambush, and drummer/percussionist Bonny B.) aren't afraid to let loose on memorable selections like the Afro-Cuban-flavored "La Zona Rosa," the mysterious "Unspoken," and the vibrant "Ice Mountain." Down the Wire detours into straight-ahead post-bop territory on "The Tippin' Point," but most of the material combines jazz with elements of rock, funk, and soul -- which, of course, is what fusion is all about. Spyro Gyra's roots are Weather Report, Return to Forever, electric Miles Davis, and Herbie Hancock's Headhunters -- in other words, the adventurous, gutsy fusion of the '70s -- and their early albums reflected that. But sadly, Spyro Gyra's willingness to pander to commercial smooth jazz/NAC radio in the '90s resulted in an abundance of embarrassing fluff. However, there is no fluff on this 65-minute CD, which finds the Spyro Gyra of 2009 acting a lot like the freewheeling Spyro Gyra of the '70s and early '80s. Down the Wire is an engaging disc that Beckenstein should be proud to have in Spyro Gyra's catalog.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/28/2009
Label:
Heads Up
UPC:
0053361315429
catalogNumber:
3154
Rank:
46836

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Spyro Gyra   Primary Artist
Bill Harris   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Tom Schuman   Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Group Member
Scott Ambush   Bass,Bass Guitar,Group Member
Jay Beckenstein   Saxophone,Group Member
Julio Fernandez   Guitar
Ozzie Melendez   Trombone
Gerardo Velez   Percussion
Don Harris   Trumpet
Bill Harris   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Bonny B.   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Marc Quiones   Percussion
Jay Beckinstein   Saxophone
Bonny B   Percussion,Drums,Vocals

Technical Credits

Tom Schuman   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Scott Ambush   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jay Beckenstein   Composer,Producer
Julio Fernandez   Composer
Dave Love   Executive Producer,Audio Production
Philip Brennan   Cover Art
Bonny B.   Producer
Jay Beckinstein   Audio Production
Bonnie Bonaparte   Composer

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