Spyro Gyra is one of those long-standing jazz groups that has 29 years of tenure on the contemporary music scene. The group’s overall impact on America’s only original art form has been significant and their voice has maintained a resonance that speaks volumes on modern day jazz as a whole. ‘Good To Go-Go’ is their 26th career release overall and the CD makes another positive statement as a highly charged jazz activated group that’s doing everything right to stay on top.
Released on the Heads Up label, ‘Good To Go-Go" is Spyro Gyra’s latest innovative jazz response to ever-changing attitudes about pre-recorded jazz music. Through much of their career, the group has always stayed true to their sound; however, they have continuously tweaked themselves to be creative. This time out, Spyro Gyra goes another further towards pushing the envelope of creative input by including a variety of new approaches to their music. As always, the sound is tight, rhythmically correct and grounded by melodic grooves that are underwritten with percussive riffs. Three value added ingredients include the spice of Caribbean influenced Rap as heard on "Jam Up" as well as the auspicious talents of Andy Narell on steel pans and the percussive texture of "Bonny B" on drums. Incidentally, Mr. B wrote the song, which also adds light-hearted flavor to the effort. That creative thought process is a testament to Spyro Gyra’s quest to always test the waters of innovative ideas.
By and large, ‘Good To Go-Go’ contains twelve tracks of refreshing toe-tapping jazz as heard on a track entitled "Get Busy," listen for the bass line exchange of Scott Ambush as he contributes his version of rhythmic response. "Funkyard Dog" is another cut that dispels the notion that modern day jazz is dull, that song exhibits the stuff that has made Spyro Gyro such a dominant force in jazz since the late 1970s. The fore mentioned tracks plus nine other outstanding offerings do offer a wider appreciation for the group’s ability to stay in the main stream. In hindsight, Spyro Gyra has never chosen to operate from inside a box, they have steered themselves in a most positive manner.
‘Good To Go-Go’ is an album that has Spyro Gyra speaking with their own unique voice. Collectively, the release contains innovation and a renewed sense of purposeful input and has "Hitsville" written all over it. As always, Spyro Gyra continues to be a relevant force in a style of jazz that tries to be contemporary in approach but seldom reaches a climax as an end result. ‘Good To Go-Go’ is definitely not your typical redundant run of the mill elevator music. This is qualitative jazz at its finest.