Spyro Gyra: 20/20
Despite all the publicity hype about this being their twentieth album in twenty years, they didn't really do anything unique or special to commemorate the occasion. They just kept on doing what they have done for twenty years to get where they are today, and that is serve up a program of infectious Latin-tinged (alright, sometimes overtly Latin) modern jazz goodies. Guest trumpeter Chris Botti is more impressive here than on his own recordings, and the 3-piece "No Sweat Horns" provide lots of punch and sizzle. Band alumni Dave Samuels (vibes) and Manolo Badrena (percussion) make nice contributions that make me wish they were still regular members of the band. But all these are just side trimmings; the excellent compositions, soloing, and band interplay of the five principal band members (in addition to Beckenstein and Schuman, there's guitarist Julio Fernandez, bassist Scott Ambush, and drummer Joel Rosenblatt) are what make this CD another successful chapter in the Spyro Gyra journey.
Record Label: GRP Records