Down the Wire

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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' ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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: 4/28/2009
  • Label: Heads Up
  • UPC: 053361315429
  • Catalog Number: 3154
  • Sales rank: 37,971

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Down The Wire (5:57)
  2. 2 Unspoken (5:51)
  3. 3 Not For Nothin' (5:02)
  4. 4 Island Pond (6:00)
  5. 5 The Tippin' Point (5:24)
  6. 6 Ice Mountain (6:58)
  7. 7 A Flower For Anne Jeanette (7:05)
  8. 8 La Zona Rosa (6:22)
  9. 9 What It Is (6:23)
  10. 10 A Distant Memory (4:42)
  11. 11 Make It Mine (5:30)
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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
The Bill Harris Quintet 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
Martin Walters Mastering, Remastering
Philip Brennan Cover Art
Bonny B. Producer
Jay Beckinstein Audio Production
Bonnie Bonaparte Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    still alive and well

    After several years, I purchased a Spyrogyra album, haven't heard much from them in a while. This album does not disappoint. They are every bit as good as ever...in fact, better! A fine group of musicians that just seem to get better with age.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Spyro Of Ole

    I've been a huge Spyro Gyra fan ever since I was old enough to understand their style of music and since my dad introduced me to their music. The new album finds them sounding like Spyro of ole. I love their early 80's albums, which have a ton of life that gives way for wild improvisation and soloing. They are one of best jazz/fusion bands of today.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews