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Spyro Gyra: Road Scholars

The signature sound that has kept Spyro Gyra on contemporary-jazz charts for two decades is showcased on the band’s first-ever live album. Ten of the 11 tracks were recorded during last year’s “20/20” tour, marking the group’s 20th year and 20th album.

These live performances come across as less sanitized than previous studio issues, especially the hit that launched the band in 1979, “Morning Dance” and an expanded rendition of the long-popular “Shaker Song.” Leader-saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Tom Schumann inject gospel and groove licks into their trademark fusion “Breakfast at Igor’s,” turning more lyrical on “Innocent Soul.” The touring band included bassist Scott Ambush and percussionist Joel Rosenblatt, and the New York performance of “De La Luz” features Julio Fernandez on guitars and vocals. The only studio-recorded track, “Best Friends,” is the album’s closing bonus.

Originally Published