In the mid 1970s, Spyro Gyra crafted a unique new sound – inspired by jazz fusion, pop and R&B – and released their debut album on their own label in 1976. Their records were both artistically challenging and commercially successful, and embraced world rhythms, including Caribbean, African and Brazilian sounds. Morning Dance, their first album with a major label, was released in 1979, spawned a Top 40 single, and eventually went platinum. Spyro Gyra went on to build a large and incredibly loyal fan base around the world that continues to this day.
Due at retail on February 28, 2006, Wrapped in a Dream reaffirms Spyro Gyra’s status as jazz fusion’s most original group. This coolly textured and cleanly produced collection is filled with subtle melodies and accomplished solos that blend easily into a lush instrumental backdrop.
“After 24 albums, it’s not always easy to develop new material,” says leader/saxophonist/ producer Jay Beckenstein. “We usually try to veer away from what we did on our previous record. But we also try to embrace anything that explores new ground – in any way we can.”
Wrapped In A Dream features keyboardist Tom Schuman, guitarist Julio Fernandez, bassist Scott Ambush, and drummers Josh Dion and Ludwig Afonso. Rounding out the project, special guests include marimba/vibraphone master Dave Samuels, trumpeter Nathan Eklund, trombonist Eric Oliver and percussionist Cyro Baptista.
With nine Grammy nominations and nearly eleven million albums sold, Spyro Gyra continues to break new ground with this latest outing, the follow-up to The Deep End, which spent most of 2004 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album chart. Beckenstein attributes Spyro Gyra’s lasting success to a freshness of ideas that allows the band to stay accessible without falling back on their past grooves and earlier successes.
At a time when most veteran bands are playing it ever safer and trendier, Spyro Gyra’s latest release is proof that the cutting-edge ensemble has not lost touch with its original spirit of exploration.
The dream lives on.