Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

289

Spyro Gyra: Road Scholars

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Hold onto your hats, friends: the hotly anticipated first-ever live album in the 20-year history of Spyro Gyra, contemporary jazz legends, is here! Road Scholars is a sampling of the band's 1997 tour celebrating their twentieth release (last year's 20/20 ) in as many years. Has it really been this long? Pop Road Scholars into your changer and you'll feel like you're right back in the Carter Years, ready to boogie. Of course, these folks' grooves are state-of-the-art, but smoothville has a history and tradition all its own now, and Road Scholars is as good a document of it as any. Messrs. Gyra may be the fountainhead of Mr. G and all his sundry imitators. Here are the masters themselves at work.

Spyro Gyra is (are?) Jay Beckenstein on reeds, Tom Schuman on trademark gurgly keyboards, Julio Fernandez with some Dan-ish (that is, as in "Steely") guitar, Joel Rosenblatt on drums and percussion, and Scott Ambush on bass. Twenty years is a lot of electricity under the bridge, but these guys are none the worse for wear. The crowd is happy, even managing a clap-along during "Breakfast at Igor's." And you can put your minds at ease, Spyro tyros: "Morning Dance" is here in all its glory, as tuneful and catchy as ever. This one deserved to be the hit it was, with Beckenstein and Schuman especially shining.

Otherwise we have the shimmery "Shaker Song," with Schuman's ivories at their most ticklish. "Heart of the Night," "Shanghai Gumbo," "Ariana" and "Daddy's Got a New Girl Now" are perfect specimens of the cheerful, glossy up-tempo funk that Herr Gyra has patented. "Innocent Soul" kicks off with Beckenstein and Schuman finding themselves in Deep Space Nine and soon deciding that it's a pretty darn nice place. "South American Sojourn" has a deft Latin flavor, earning its title smartly. "De la Luz" includes some sweet acoustic licks from Fernandez; "Best Friends," the only studio cut, has some interesting popcorn thingy.

Fans of Señor Gyra and his smooth blend will love Road Scholars.

Title: Road Scholars | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: GRP Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Down The Wire

Down The Wire

Heads Up International
2009

buy
A Night Before Christmas

A Night Before...

Heads Up International
2008

buy
Good To Go-Go

Good To Go-Go

Heads Up International
2007

buy
Wrapped In A Dream

Wrapped In A Dream

Heads Up International
2006

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May23Thu
Spyro Gyra
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA
May24Fri
Spyro Gyra
Yoshi's Oakland
Oakland, CA
$29
May24Fri
Spyro Gyra
Yoshi's Oakland
Oakland, CA
$29
May30Thu
Spyro Gyra
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
May31Fri
Spyro Gyra
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
Jun1Sat
Spyro Gyra
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA
Jun2Sun
Spyro Gyra
Jazz Alley
Seattle, WA

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019