Morning Dance – Spyro Gyra

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Morning Dance by Spyro Gyra

  • Second album by jazz-fusion group Spyro Gyra, released in 1979.
  • My music journey went to a phase in the early 80s where I was discovering “modern” jazz of the day, and this led me to Spyro Gyra. The band was formed in 1974 by Jay Beckenstein (saxophone) and Jeremy Wall (keyboards). Beckenstein still performs and records today as part of Spyro Gyra, while Wall left in 1997 after contributing to 19 albums, most of them as a producer and songwriter – Wall now is an assistant professor at State University of New York Oneonta.
  • Their second album was their biggest seller, the only one to reach platinum status. The album reached #27 on the Billboard 200 album chart – no small feat for an instrumental jazz album. The title track Morning Dance peaked at #24 on the Hot 100 – another tall task – and it topped the Adult Contemporary chart. It includes a marimba and steel drum section that is fabulous.
  • No other singles were released from the album, but the other songs all have the same jazz fusion thing going for them. Definitely late 70s/early 80s smooth/cool jazz here. During the 80s, they became one of the most prominent artists of modern jazz, with five albums released between 1980 and 1985 receiving Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.
  • Enjoy this live performance of Morning Dance. Unfortunately, it does not feature the steel drum and marimba section. Instead, those sections are performed on a keyboard. Go stream the album to hear the original masterpiece! And, enjoy the little snippets at the beginning and end to see what the UK’s Top of the Pops was like in 1979.

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