Spyro Gyra,
The Deep End
(Heads Up, 2004)

Spyro Gyra's infamous longevity is put on display once more with their 2004 album, The Deep End, a smooth and eclectic record that will further cement the band in jazz history. While it might not blow your mind as a Poncho Sanchez album might, The Deep End has a good deal to offer. Featuring terrific track organization, the listener is never bored as he is taken through a medley of Latin and smooth jazz.

Like all of Spyro Gyra's work, this album is definitely meant to be heard from start to finish. There are a few standout tracks, however, such as my personal favorite, "Joburg Jam." An unassuming track from the beginning, "Joburg Jam" turns into a jambalaya of solos, including an electric guitar piece that leads into a sax masterpiece. By the end of the track, the listener is bobbing his head and tapping his toes in full-on groove to the rhythm. Leading from "Joburg Jam" to "The Crossing" and "Wiggle Room," the heart of the album is clearly the most catching and soulful section of the album. These three songs also favor heavily the Latin side of Spyro Gyra's work, almost in a manner similar to earlier Santana works.

If you are unfamiliar with the work of Spyro Gyra, The Deep End might not be the best choice to start with, though it will certainly not disappoint. Should you be rather new to the genre of jazz fusion, this would be a fine introduction and will, hopefully, encourage you to pursue the style more adamantly. If listening to the band for the first time, one might recommend some of their earlier stuff, such as the albums that got them their initial fame in the 1970's: Morning Dance or Catching the Sun. However, if you are an avid enthusiast, or even a mild fan, The Deep End is without a doubt worth giving a listen or two. It makes for a fantastic live show, and will surely set the tone for any setting.

music review by
Bryan Frantz

26 March 2011

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new