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SPYRO GYRA A Foreign Affair Amherst Records
I’ve been playing Spyro Gyra’s music for 33 years… since “Shaker Song” was released as the first radio single from their self-titled debut (vinyl) album in 1978 on Amherst Records, which remarkably, is where the band has returned with this compelling new release. A few nights ago I caught this true supergroup live at Jazz Alley in Seattle, where they featured tracks from A FOREIGN AFFAIR. After the goose bumps subsided, I realized that, without a doubt, this band sounds better than ever. The chemistry among leader/saxman Jay Beckenstein, keyboardist Tom Schuman, guitarist Julio Fernandez, bassist Scott Ambush, and drummer Bonnie B (the new guy… at five years) is incredible. Their sound is brilliant, the new songs from A FOREIGN AFFAIR are some of the strongest I’ve ever heard from them, and the whole experience couldn’t have been more inspiring. A FOREIGN AFFAIR, with influences from the Caribbean, South America, Japan, India and Mexico and featuring special guest vocalists Keb'Mo' and Arijit Singh, might very well be Spyro Gyra's best work yet. In a word, WOW… as in Watch Out World! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN
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