"If you have ever seen Spryo Gyra live you know how they always take their songs up a notch with added improvisation and true showmanship. While their studio work is great, this album is what jazz is all about. I saw them in concert during the tour when this album was made. Unbelievable! Yes, Old San Juan is missing from the album (it was on the original vinyl...I have a copy), but the rest of the songs are fab!"
Access All Areas!
Chris Covais | New York | 09/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fine look back at Spyro Gyra in the early days of their recording and touring. Members Chet Catallo, Kim Stone, Eli Konikoff, Geraldo Velez, and Dave Samuels were still members of the group, and City Kids was the newest release at the time this cd was recorded live, in Florida. This reissue starts off the classic, "shaker song," skipping over "Old San Juan", which appeared on the original album. "Serpent In Paradise, Conversations", and "Morning Dance" are highlights throughout the album. This live cd is great, just as it was when it first came out. If you like Spyro Gyra, you'll love this cd."
Why Jip Me On "Old San Juan?"
ctdemonet | Allen, TX | 11/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The original LP was a masterpiece. Why did they deliberately ommit "Old San Juan from the CD?" Why???????"
Live 80s jazz-fusion at its best
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 06/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is another old favourite that has made the transition over the last 20 years or so from cassette to vinyl and then finally on to CD.
The 1984 album captures Spyro Gyra in concert in Florida in November 1983 and the recording is another that (in my view) highlights the group at their best. It features songs from their early albums like Morning Dance, Incognito and City Kids and the songs are all expanded and improved on greatly here. I find the live versions here much more fun than the original studio versions.
The only exception was "Old San Juan", which was on both the cassette and vinyl versions of "Access All Areas". I always felt that the original studio version on "Incognito" (complete with Jay Beckenstein's whistle) was much more superior and was thus not too torn up to discover that the live version has been omitted from the CD, along with Beckenstein's opening greeting to the crowd. ("Yeah! We're gonna have fun tonight!") Nevertheless it is a very unusual move. CDs usually have bonus and extended tracks and this is probably the first time I've come across a CD that actually has a track from its original source taken out.
Anyway, there's still more than enough music left over to satisfy me. The entire band is especially tight but special props go to Jay Beckenstein on Saxophones, Dave Samuels on vibes and marimba, Tom Schuman on keyboards, Chet Catallo on guitars and Eli Konikoff on drums. They provide an exciting hour or so of music and this is a great example of the best in live 80s jazz-fusion.
My favourite part is the first half of "Schu's Blues" where the highly enthusiastic crowd at the concert provide accompanying handclap percussion to Schuman's solo piano. It's a great moment. "