Spyro Gyra

Jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra – not to be confused with the British folk rock band Spirogyra – was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1974 by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Jeremy Wall. The other founding members included Jim Kurzdofer (bass), Tom Walsh (drums), Umbopha Emile Latimer (percussion), and Tom Schuman (keyboards). They released their self-titled debut album independently in 1977, signing a deal with Amherst Records, who reissued the album nationally the following year with a different cover. The album featured the single “Shaker Song”, which reached Number 90 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart. Signing to Infinity/MCA Records, the band released their second album, Morning Dance, in 1979. The album hit Number 11 on the UK Albums chart and Number 27 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The title track was released as a single reaching Number 1 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Singles chart and Number 17 on the UK singles chart. Catching the Sun, their third album, was released in 1980 and proved to be yet another success. After nine more albums on MCA, the band switched to GRP Records for another six albums. They continued to release albums for other labels including Windham Hill and Heads Up before coming back to their first label, Amherst for the albums A Foreign Affair (2011) and Vinyl Tap (2019). Over the years, the band’s line-up has changed with Beckenstein the only member of the band featured on all of their recordings. Founding member Jim Kurzdorfer died in 2011 of cancer.

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Stations Featuring Spyro Gyra

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