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Spyro Gyra Returns Once Again with <i>Wrapped In A Dream</i>

Just when you thought Spyro Gyra had recorded their final album and disappeared, they're back. That's OK, because VOA's Doug Levine says the group's return, marked by a brand new release, will probably leave you wanting more.

You heard it here first: Spyro Gyra has no plans of calling it quits any time soon.

"Spyro Time" from Spyro Gyra's new album Wrapped In A Dream borrows from the ad campaign used in the Miller Beer commercials. And like Miller time, Spyro time begs for a little well-deserved down time.

In almost 30 years of existence, this might be the closest Spyro Gyra has ever come to hip-hop. Over the course of 25 albums, there's been lots of smooth jazz, Latin jazz, pop jazz and even some improvised jazz, but never any vocal jazz or hip-hop.

Could a new day be dawning? Has the band that brought us "Morning Dance" finally be shedding smooth for rough? Or, has Spyro Gyra returned to its grittier R&B roots? Decide for yourself after listening to "After The Storm."

Spyro Gyra's earliest incarnation was as an R&B instrumental cover song band from Buffalo, New York. Founding member and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein decided to capitalize on Buffalo's thriving music scene, and he financed the pressing and distribution of 500 copies of Spyro Gyra's first album. According to Jay, the stars were aligned, because within a year, sales of the album soared. Spyro Gyra was signed to a major label, and by 1980, the world's only band named after an algae had become an international sensation.

Fast-forward 26 years: Spyro Gyra delivers a top-notch album with all of the original ingredients and bonus extras added for good measure. It's really no surprise that Spyro Gyra is still around. That Spyro Gyra has enough left in the tank to still want to take a few chances bodes well for jazz, be it smooth or rough.