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Spyro Gyra - The Very Best Of Spyro Gyra

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The Very Best Of Spyro Gyra

Spyro Gyra

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Although Spyro Gyra's late-'70s instrumental pop chart hit "Morning Dance" is always credited by some for opening doors for the genre that folks would later call smooth jazz, this 16-track compilation -- part of GRP's new classic artist collector's series -- shows that saxman Jay Beckenstein and company never really fit perfectly into any category. And that's by design. Manager Philip Brennan sequenced these tracks with GRP A&R guy Bud Harner, wisely choosing to make a live version of "Morning Dance" the last track, something of an afterthought, since most of the material here (from 1988 through 1997) is far more challenging and exciting. You won't catch the scorching Latin jams "Breakfast at Igor's" or "Para Ti Latino" on any smooth station, and even lighthearted tracks like keyboardist Tom Schuman's "You Can Count on Me" are a little too island-minded to hit the R&B-focused genre listener these days. "Three Wishes" is Beckenstein's very likeable attempt at a traditional jazz approach. The band did find some smooth jazz success by finding the right combination with guitarist Chieli Minucci on the seductive "Ariana," but it's easy to see from most of these tracks that its true creative heart lay elsewhere. They've survived by building their fan base and offering one of contemporary instrumental music's best live shows year after year. It would be hard for one CD to capture the many facets of a band who's more than a quarter century old, but this is a must-have for longtime fans and those wanting an intro to the Spyro Gyra experience.
© Jonathan Widran /TiVo

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The Very Best Of Spyro Gyra

Spyro Gyra

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1
Limelight
00:04:29

Jeremy Wall, Producer, Assistant Producer - Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Dave Samuels, Composer - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Breakfast At Igor's
00:05:21

Jay Beckenstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Ambush, Composer - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1993 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
You Can Count on Me
00:03:25

Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Tom Schuman, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Para Ti Latino
00:04:15

Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Oscar Cartaya, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1990 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Ariana
00:05:06

Jeremy Wall, ComposerLyricist - Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Russell Ferrante, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1995 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Three Wishes
00:04:47

Jay Beckenstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1992 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Birks Law
00:04:35

Jay Beckenstein, Composer, Producer - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1993 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Pipo's Song
00:04:52

Jerry Hey, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Julio Fernandez, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1992 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Heart Of The Night
00:04:33

Jay Beckenstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1996 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
What Exit
00:03:39

Julio Fernandez, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Yosemite
00:05:24

Jeremy Wall, Composer, Producer, Assistant Producer - Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
The Unknown Soldier
00:05:20

Jeremy Wall, Producer, Assistant Producer - Jay Beckenstein, Composer, Producer - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist - Larry Swist, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Tower Of Babel
00:05:29

Jay Beckenstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1990 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
The Unwritten Letter
00:05:08

Jay Beckenstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1997 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Westwood Moon
00:04:56

Jeremy Wall, Producer, Assistant Producer - Jay Beckenstein, Producer - Tom Schuman, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1996 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Morning Dance Live In Lakevile / 1997
00:04:16

Jay Beckenstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Spyro Gyra, MainArtist

℗ 1998 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Although Spyro Gyra's late-'70s instrumental pop chart hit "Morning Dance" is always credited by some for opening doors for the genre that folks would later call smooth jazz, this 16-track compilation -- part of GRP's new classic artist collector's series -- shows that saxman Jay Beckenstein and company never really fit perfectly into any category. And that's by design. Manager Philip Brennan sequenced these tracks with GRP A&R guy Bud Harner, wisely choosing to make a live version of "Morning Dance" the last track, something of an afterthought, since most of the material here (from 1988 through 1997) is far more challenging and exciting. You won't catch the scorching Latin jams "Breakfast at Igor's" or "Para Ti Latino" on any smooth station, and even lighthearted tracks like keyboardist Tom Schuman's "You Can Count on Me" are a little too island-minded to hit the R&B-focused genre listener these days. "Three Wishes" is Beckenstein's very likeable attempt at a traditional jazz approach. The band did find some smooth jazz success by finding the right combination with guitarist Chieli Minucci on the seductive "Ariana," but it's easy to see from most of these tracks that its true creative heart lay elsewhere. They've survived by building their fan base and offering one of contemporary instrumental music's best live shows year after year. It would be hard for one CD to capture the many facets of a band who's more than a quarter century old, but this is a must-have for longtime fans and those wanting an intro to the Spyro Gyra experience.
© Jonathan Widran /TiVo

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