Spyro Gyra – Down The Wire (CD)

Spyro Gyra has really gotten a fire under their collective butts the last few years, releasing a string of memorable albums in as short of a time frame as is humanly possible. Their latest, 2009’s “Down The Wire”, is more of the same. The disc starts off with the titular track, which immediately blasts listeners with a tightly-knit bass line that is pushed to higher and higher levels with absolutely sizzling horn work. This intensity is mirrored well in the opening to “Unspoken”, which has Spyro Gyra telling in the space of ten seconds what other bands attempt to tell in the space of a song.

“Not For Nothin’” has a lighter sound to it than did “Unspoken”, but the density of the track does not decrease giving this more sunny outlook. The brass and percussion dynamic that is present during this track will flip the script for individuals that are only familiar with a solid dialogue between the percussion and strings. “Flower for Annie Jeanette” is one of those tracks that defies genre convention, and the inclusion of this track is essential to give listeners the further little boost to keep their interest piqued through the rest of “Down The Wire” . “What It Is” brings things back to a calmer and more typical demenanor; while the tempo of the track is a little more peppy than the average current jazz composition, Spyro Gyra show future bands a proper blueprint of the style with this track.

The one thing that really distinguishes Spyro Gyra for me from the rest of the other bands making music is the fact that they continually come with tracks that represent their strongest side. Where a number of acts begin to slow down once the disc hits the halfway mark, “Down The Wire” maintains a constancy that never falters. With thirty years under their belt, Spyro Gyra may just be the best thing that jazz has going for it at this time. If you pride yourself on being a fan of music generally (or fancy yourself a fan of jazz music), make every effort to track down a copy of “Down The Wire”.

Top Tracks: Down The Wire, Zona Rosa

Rating: 8.4/10

Spyro Gyra – Down The Wire / 2009 Heads Up / 11 Tracks / http://www.spyrogyra.com

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