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Spyro Gyra: The Deep End

Spyro Gyra engages in some adventurous music-making on The Deep End (Heads Up). Featuring intricate, complex songwriting and kaleidoscopic shifts of style, mood, texture and color, this album offers something new to discover with each listening. “Monsoon,” with its Eastern flavors and sitar accents, steadily intensifies into a dramatic and expansive production, as does the Latin-inflected “The Crossing,” which includes an expressive, poignant performance by group leader and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein. “Summer Fling” is bright and upbeat, but its breeziness is tempered with a dash of melancholy, and Beckenstein waxes lyrical on “In Your Arms.” “Wiggle Room” is built on a quirky rhythm, while “Beyond the Rain” opens with chimes before bassist Scott Ambush and Beckenstein take over and trade off the melody.

Spyro Gyra is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and The Deep End demonstrates that the band’s spirit of exploration is still very much alive. Indeed, it’s thriving.

Originally Published