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 CD Review
By Bob Silvestri

    The first time I saw Spyro Gyra was in the cramped confines of the old Tralf at Main and Fillmore Avenues in Buffalo. This was the original Tralf, one where you had to duck your head going down the stairs to this basement club, one where the bands dressing room was the kitchen of the taco shop at street level, not the upscale nightclub we know and love now. No longer playing basement clubs but the world’s finest stages and festivals, Spyro Gyra continues to make pleasing music including on their latest release “In Modern Times”.
    While some have dismissed their sound as too repetitious over the years that’s really not true as they always bring a fresh approach to their material. While retaining that signature sound they continue to tinker with their arrangements, their timings and to work  with new collaborators. While Jay Beckenstein and Tom Schuman are the focus of the group the other members are contributing with their own compositions including Joel Rosenblatt’s “Planet J”, Scott Ambush’s “The River Between” and Julio Fernandez’s “Julio’s Party”. Longtime Spyro associate Jeremy Wall contributed the tune “Lucky Bounce” to this one as well. 
    Other fine selections include “After Hours”, “Florida Straits” and “Feelin’ Fine Pt’s 1 & 2”. Another song of mention is “Groovin’ For Grover”, written for Buffalo’s own native son the late Grover Washington Jr. If you haven’t checked out Spyro Gyra in awhile this is a nice way to get reacquainted with this band with deep Buffalo roots and make sure to see them next time they pass through town.
    For  info go to www.spyrogyra.com or www.jaybeckenstein.com

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