Kristin R. from TOLEDO, OH Reviewed on 2/7/2007...
Their first classic album. Features their identifiable first jazz hit "Shaker Song."
A review of Spyro Gyra's Spyro Gyra.
James Houser | NY, NY | 05/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Spyro Gyra is a well-rounded Spyro Gyra record. It was their debut album. It originally appeared back in 1976. This cd conveys a great mixture of sounds and is quite unique 70's Spyro Gyra. For being their debut album, this cd is really quite good.My 3 favorite tracks on this album are 1,2, and 4. Shaker Song is their first song and it's great and has an extraordinary melody to it. OpusD'Opus is also a great track featuring a tight drums/percussion solo. Pygmy Funk is a strange, but good song. Strange is good, right. Throughout the whole cd there are great melodies and many different parts and sounds.This is a good debut album by Spyro Gyra. It is a must for your Spyro Gyra library. It's a classic. However, some of the end songs can get minorly repetitive. All in all, it's a nice cd worth the purchase. The cover art is interesting as well. Thank you for taking the time and generosity to read my review."
Their Debut was just OK? What are you talkin' about?
Modbeat1964 | USA | 01/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to play devil's advocate and disagree with the reviews that claim that this debut was only OK! Yeah, yeah....I know they got better and BLAH...blah...blah. WELL...for this band's debut, this is a real treat. Spyro Gyra's debut is in my opinion, A BOLD EFFORT. These tracks still have enough of the REAL 70's FUSION flavored funky-ness to warrant my listening. Their 2nd release is also GREAT. I can't say I ever got pass the 2nd release, but I have at least tried to give the other releases a listen. My sister is an avid fan, but she is also into the SMOOTH JAZZ ilk. YUCK! Anyhow, pick this CD up and give it a good listen. I'm sure that you won't be disappointed."
A Mixed Bag of Outstanding Melodies
Modbeat1964 | 10/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few sax players can crank out a melody like Jay Beckenstien. Nowadays, Jay is content to spew more "smooth jazz" melodies. Back in 1976, when this album was produced, there was no smooth jazz genre. Spyro Gyra more or less invented it. Sure, Gerry Mulligan and Dave Brubeck came close, but this was something new. Actually Shaker Song and Cascade are the only real smooth jazz tunes on the CD. The rest belongs more to the fusion realm, which is why I believe this recording is the best of Spyro Gyra's considerable work. Since it was the latter two songs that made them popular, their subsequent work tended in that direction, but for us hard-core fusion lovers, the rest of this CD rocks! Some fusion is said to be too sterile, but you won't find that here. These guys combined warm melodies with intense electronic sounds. There's something here for everyone."
Try their later stuff...
Modbeat1964 | 11/15/1998
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This was their first album (although it looks like the CD was released in 1994, it was on tape in 1978). Fortunately, their music improved with age (i.e., Carnival, Catching the Sun, Morning Dance, Point of View)."
If you are a jazz fan, this is their best work
Squirreldawg | Jackson, MS | 09/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While Spyro Gyra has been seen mostly as being on the softer/smoother side of jazz for their entire career, if you're more of a jazz fan than a pop fan, their first album seems to be the only offering that they made to the jazz world. Their record sales prove that there are a lot of folks out there that really like the formula that they've been using after this record, but more records like this one would have given them certainly more respect in the jazz world as opposed to the music industry. Of course, they may not have been looking for that and that's really their business.
There is no questioning their music ability, there are all very accomplished musicians, but this is the only release that has actual jazz on it. It's not straight ahead jazz as I'm sure you already know, but a very good blend of the fusion that was out at the time. They actually had a unique fusion voice and gave it up to make pop records. Not sure why that happened.
If you are a pop fan and don't care for jazz records in general, there are only a couple of songs on this record that you will like. You may want to skip it. If you are a jazz fan and have kept seeing this name over the years, this is one to get. Any of the others will leave you wanting. Let's be honest, they are pop records made with instruments that have been traditionally used to make jazz records. Who ever came up with the "Smooth Jazz" name could have done everyone a favor and just called it "Instrumental Pop". It certainly would have cut down on a lot of confusion.