Friday, November 16, 2012

"Catching the Sun" by Spyro Gyra

Song#:  0139
Date:  04/19/1980
Debut:  82
Peak:  68
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Smooth Jazz, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  This jazz-fusion group broke through in 1979 when their instrumental tune "Morning Dance" hit #24 on the pop chart. Since then they have had great success on the pop and jazz album charts and continue to maintain a loyal following with their concerts. Their fusion style that mixed elements of jazz, R&B, and even Caribbean music was not always a hit with critics, but record buyers loved their sound and they became one of the main influences for the smooth jazz format. This title song from their third album wasn't as memorable as "Morning Dance," but the fact they were able to get songs on the pop chart was a testament to their wide-ranging popularity.

ReduxReview:  I've never been and never will be a fan of the smooth jazz format. With the exception of a few Chuck Mangione songs, I avoid it like the plague. The musicians are usually very talented and I respect their abilities, but I just don't like the sound. I went to a jazz college and I remember one person saying that smooth jazz was where real jazz went to die. I kind of agree. But without smooth jazz, what would we have listened to in waiting rooms in the 70s and 80s? I can still hear those saxy sounds from when I waited at the orthodontist office to get my braces adjusted.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The group's name came from founding member Jay Beckenstein. A club owner was pestering him for the name of the group to advertise and as sort of a joke, Beckenstein blurted out "spirogira," which was the subject of a college biology paper he wrote. The owner misspelled it as "Spiro Gyra" and the name stuck.  2) This song garnered them a Grammy nomination in 1980 for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.


1 comment: