In the world of music, styles come and go. Artists at the top of this week’s charts could be history by the end of next month. Words like “staying power” and “longevity” are for anyone or anything that sticks around for more than a couple years.
But then there are those rare few, gifted with the right stuff, who hang in for the long haul that continue to explore and evolve album after album, year after year, decade after decade. Such are many groups in smooth jazz that we have covered in our past programs with our look at our featured artist groups such as Fourplay, 3rd Force, Acoustic Alchemy, Hiroshima. These groups have remained popular ranging from 35 to 45 years each.
This week’s look at artist’s groups features such a group, Spyro Gyra. Saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Jeremy Wall formed a band with jazz and rock musicians who were playing in the Buffalo New York bar and club circuit in 1974. When a bar owner insisted that they come up with a name for the band, Beckenstein decided on "spirogyra", a type of algae he had learned about in college. The bar owner wrote the name incorrectly spelling it as two words but it stuck.
Spyro Gyra has released over 30 albums and sold over 10 million copies as this stellar band’s popularity has reached increasing heights over their more than 40 years of great music.
I will play Billboard’s top three songs in smooth jazz this week.
Our expanded segment featuring the absolute latest in smooth jazz, includes brand new 2018 releases not previously played on this program. We have a song from one of the hot rising young stars of smooth jazz, 26 year old tenor saxophonist Vincent Ingala, just released on April 27th from his album titled Personal Touch. The reason behind the album title is that he also plays the drums and guitar and did all his own instrumentation on this album. Other new releases are from the keys of Smooth Jazz pioneer Dan Siegel, guitarist Chris Standring with guest Grammy Award winning keyboardist Bob James, the trumpet of Greg Adams and his group East Bay Soul, and the saxophone of Marion Meadows.
In the second hour we have Diana Krall, Euge Groove, Enya, Fourplay, Gerald Albright, more selections from Spyro Gyra, David Sanborn, Oli Silk, The Rippingtons, and Dave Koz.
This week’s closing song will be my very favorite song from this week’s featured group Spyro Gyra.