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In Modern Times Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 23, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Japanese Version featuring a Bonus Track: Art of Heart
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Heads
  • ASIN: B00005J45N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,661,065 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Greetings and sincerest salutations, friends.

You can read some of my other reviews for disclaimers, qualifications, and opinion bases.

This is quite a fantstic album! Quite unlike most, if not all Spyro Gyra (SG) recordings. Great songs (lyrical and melodic, funky and soulful) abound, as well as terrific musicianship.

SG is what I have always labled as a Progressive Jazz Band. My musician friend once said to me that "jazz has reached its end; it's all been done before." Well, I have proclaimed that SG was the group that has changed attitudes such as this. They have usually had a fresh and lyrical approach to music, be it called "fusion" or "jazz."

On this recording, right from the beginning, we have some catchy, bluesy/soulful/funky tunes. I am assuming that "Groovin' For Grover" is a tribute to the late, great Grover Washington, Jr. It is a great tune with Jay on the Soprano (an instrument I usually dislike, no matter who's playing it).

And while this is a very good recording for the group, it is the last four tunes that make this an exceptional (5-star) album. IMHO, these may be the best four consecutive tunes on any SG album!

"East River Blue"--enter Mr. B-3! How wonderful this sounds! Jay chimes in on a very sultry, bluesy tenor (I prefer Jay's tenor work). This is a Blues song supreme! Tom, I know Jimmy Smith can hear you, and I'm sure he's applauding! This is just a GREAT song!

"Your Touch" is quite a beautiful song! Jay has never sounded better than he plays here. Full of heartfelt melody and romantic softness, we then expand into some funky changes! This is great! Tom takes us back to the bridge with some wonderfully delicate keyboard work; quite a nice touch!
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Format: Audio CD
They were one of the first bands to play smooth jazz and they are among the best. Just about every track on this disc could drop right into any smooth jazz radio playlist in the country. This disc works well as foot-tapping background music, although they throw in enough musical flair to reward careful listening. With apologies to Howard Rumsey, no one makes better music for light house-keeping than Spyro Gyra!
Bandleader Jay Beckenstein usually states the melody and takes at least one solo on every tune, but Tom Schuman gets a number of solos on various keyboards, and adds tasteful fills elsewhere. Julio Fernandez gets a few chances to display some of his guitar technique, most notably his Santana-influenced solo on the Latin number. Joel Rosenblatt and Scott Ambush establish solid, danceable grooves on every upbeat track, and even play a convincing swing rhythm on the one soulful bop tune, "East River Blues".
I agree with the reviewer who felt that Beckenstein gets his best tone on alto, but the overall excellence of the ensemble and the polish of the arrangements overcome his limitations on tenor and soprano. Stanley Turrentine and Grover Washington are apparently two of Jay's idols, so he can be forgiven for reaching a bit.
There's no single melody as memorable as "Morning Dance", but this is an overall very listenable album. Although their live albums are generally their best, this is a quite enjoyable addition to their impressive catalog. I haven't yet checked out the extra video and bios on this enhanced CD, but the music alone makes this a good value, whether or not you're a serious fan.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I've been a Spyro Gyra fan since 1977, and I have always marveled over the fact that they remain fresh and eager to explore musically when so many others find comfort in the sound they've always produced. I had missed this 2001 release, but I found it quite by accident when I heard "East River Blue" on SiriusXM. There's nothing like discovering a gem from an old friend.
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Format: Audio CD
In this day and age of "smooth" jazz, it's nice to know that you can count on Spyro Gyra to come out with a halfway decent album. Since Spyro is a band, you get drums, not drum programming. All 5 members contributed to the songwriting (as they had done on "20/20"). Also, long time cohort Jeremy Wall contributes to the album with "Lucky Bounce". This track, plus "Florida Straits" are my favorites. Speaking of "Florida Straits", one thing missing on this album is a guest appearance by former S.G. member Dave Samuels. "Straits" sounds like a Caribbean Jazz Project song and Dave's vibraphone would have enhanced it further. Anyway, Julio Fernandez provides some great guitar on it. The only song I don't care for is "Your Touch", but I never go much for slower ones like this. Much of this record is upbeat; there are only 2 songs that are slow; 2 or 3 others are mid-tempo. You may need a second listen before you agree it's a worthwile CD to add, but long time Spyro fans should enjoy it. In summation, I feel it's not quite up to 20/20 or Dreams Beyond Control, but definitely better than Got the Magic.
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Format: Audio CD
Absolutely must hear this sacd! I was floored by the clarity, fluidity of sound. I felt like I was almost able to touch it! Especially the fourth song (can't remember the name. I do not own it yet -- buying it online and waiting for delivery, but my friend has it).
I consider this one of the best of anything I ever heard! If it wasn't sacd, it would still be great, but the sound reproduction is flawless, and the harmonics and tonal purity make it a MUST HAVE!!!
By the way, I listened to it on a Yamaha RX V1 with Pioneer Elite DV45A with Polk RT11's.
Buy this sacd and you will NOT be sorry.
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