From the Vault...


Spyro Gyra

© MCA Records

Year of Release: 1986

track listing
  • Bob Goes To THe Store
  • Freefall
  • Doubletake
  • Breakout
  • Body Wave
  • Whirlwind
  • Swept Away
  • Guiltless

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    Spyro Gyra Website
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    Spyro Gyra

    Some years back, when I was hosting a weekly Jazz program online, I was admiring on how great Jazz music really is. I was researching the #1 Jazz albums, and before I even started that, I had known that Spyro Gyra was a very popular band. Not really knowing their music, I looked into the beginnings of their amazing music career. Then, I learned that this band had achieved many #1 albums on Billboard's New Age Jazz Albums chart. And, like most bands, their album covers were always enjoyable to observe.

    Breakout was one of the #1 albums, released in 1986. And as I prepare for the review, I can easily see why this band is so great: Their music is truly, truly that of great Jazz. Some reviews of this album weren't as highly ranked as the band's previous albums to date. But, if you're not as familiar with Spyro Gyra (as I am), I can easily say this is a very worthwhile album to have in your collection. And, after hearing this album, you'll want to hear more. Never mind the Greatest Hits/Best Of/Essential collections, Spyro Gyra's music is meant to listen to in their original album forms. Breakout is Spyro Gyra's debut here on WSVNRadio, and yes, we will definitely be hearing more of them and reviewing them in the future.

    Take the opening track, "Bob Goes To The Store." It grabs your attention, as you prepare yourself to entertain yourself with the best Jazz you probably have heard in your entire life. This song has a comparison of another Jazz band, Weather Report, and even the Frank Zappa Jazz (Zappa's Jazz can be compared to other songs here as well.) And it only gets better... "Freefall" is a great song in sound, of New Age Jazz/Smooth Jazz. Chuck Mangione's music gets a compare here. "Doubletake" is another great upbeat Rock and Jazz track, a little Joe Satriani flavoring in here too.

    The title track, wow, it's another attention grabber. It's upbeat, it's Rock and Jazz. Then there's the Soulful "Body Wave." "Whirlwind" is just beautiful... It's New Age Jazz, at it's finest sound and quality. "Swept Away" is another beautiful and romantic mood setter. Again, New Age Jazz just couldn't sound any better here. Al Jarreau's soulful voice could be heard somewhere in here. The album closes with the upbeat track, "Guiltless." Great Jazz here. Set it to track one. Hit play. Repeat to listen to the entire album.

    Exceptional music, great instrumentation. These are all instrumentals. This IS great (New Age) Jazz! Spyro Gyra is a band you'll be wanting to hear more and more of. Breakout is a fantastic album.

    The band's name is a misspelling of Spirogyra, a genus of green algae, which bandmember/saxophonist Jay Beckenstein had written about in a college biology paper. Jay, along with Thomas Schuman (keyboardist) have been the two main founding members of the band, throughout the band's existence, since 1974. Their first album was released in 1978. Band members have included Michael Brecker and Chris Botti. Both have had successful solo careers of their own.

    (Enter your name here) and Go To The Store [most likely online], and grab this album... You'll discover a Freefall. As you take a Doubletake after hearing this album, you will want to play it again and again. You'll Breakout, and do Body Waves, with a Whirlwind in amazement, on how you'll be Swept Away by this album, and feel no Guiltness whatsover.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MCA Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1458
    Michael Peterson--Michael Peterson
    Next Review: #1460
    The Tokens--The Lion Sleeps Tonight