Nu e vorba de alga!

Spyro Gyra (IPA: /ˌspaɪroʊˈdʒaɪrə/) is an American jazz fusion band that was originally formed in the mid-1970s in Buffalo, New York, USA. With over 25 albums released and 10 million copies sold, they are among the most prolific as well as commercially successful groups of the scene. Among their most successful hit singles are „Shaker Song” and „Morning Dance”, which received significant play on popular music radio stations, and are still frequently heard nearly 30 years later on jazz and easy listening stations.

Their music, which has been influential in the development of smooth jazz, combines jazz with elements of R&B, funk and pop music. Although generally considered to be more „jazz” than „smooth”, Spyro Gyra have been praised as skilled instrumentalists and for their live performances, which average nearly 100 per year.

With the exception of alto saxophonist, songwriter & founding bandleader Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Tom Schuman the personnel has changed somewhat over time as well as between the studio and the live stage.

Spyro Gyra emerged around Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Jeremy Wall, who had met and formed a band during their high school years. Although they headed in different directions during college—Beckenstein to the State University of New York in Buffalo and Wall to Cal Arts—they spent summers together playing outdoor concerts, and Wall moved to Buffalo soon after graduating.

Beckenstein had been working in clubs in Buffalo since his junior year of college, backing various vocalists. Wall teamed up with Beckenstein, and the two started playing instrumental music—mostly covers of R&B songs—together. The other two musicians who were part of the nucleus were Buffalo natives Jim Kurzdorfer on bass and Tom Walsh on drums, although many people played in those early jam gatherings. An early regular on the Tuesday Night Jazz Jam scene was Buffalo percussionist Umbopha Emile Latimer. In Beckenstein’s description of the Buffalo club scene of the time:Not many people know it, but Buffalo was like a mini Chicago back then, with a smoking blues, soul, jazz, even rockabilly scene, of all things.Over a year, their work evolved into Spyro Gyra. Wall has commented that their sound was a „gutbucket of rhythmic tradition. We did simple music and esoteric stuff. It all came together, this oddball mix, until we found a middle ground, our own groove

The name Spyro Gyra is a misspelling of Spirogyra, a genus of green algae on which Beckenstein had written a college biology paper years earlier. He recalls:

Before a gig in a Buffalo club that was called Jack Daniels, the owner twisted my arm for a band name. As a joke, I remembered the paper and said, ‘Spirogyra’. He misspelled it ‘Spyro Gyra,’ advertised it that way, and it stuck.

As the popularity of the group increased, the band played more places around town, becoming a regular at the Tralfamadore Cafe in its original location, in a basement under a non-descript storefront on Main Street. That led to more opening slots for national acts and performances in nearby cities, Rochester and Cleveland.

There were two main guitar players who appeared as part of the band around this time, Alfred „Fast Freddy” Rapillo (who would later go on to play for Rick James) and Rick Strauss. Tom Walsh had moved to California and the drum chair was alternately taken by Tom Duffy, Ted Reinhardt and others. Tom Schuman, who had been sitting in with the band since almost the beginning, when he was only sixteen, became a fixture in 1977 and the group had two keyboard players for a brief period until Jeremy Wall left the performing band in 1978.

The first eponymous album, self released in late 1977, reflected these personnel as well as some guests like Dave Samuels and Rubens Bassini, who would be part of Spyro Gyra recordings for years to come. That album attracted the attention of locally based Amherst Records, who then re-released the first album with new artwork. This debut album would go on to become one of Billboard’s Top 40 Jazz Albums of 1978.

Bronx-born Gerardo Velez, who started his career with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock and would go on to play with many other artists and most recently as a member of Chic, became a regular around this time. He would gain fame with the early fans as Spyro Gyra’s „dancing percussionist”.

The follow-up recording, Morning Dance, financed by Amherst, made it possible to record part of the album in New York City and include more notable guests like John Tropea, Will Lee, Steve Jordan, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker and Suzanne Ciani. In the course of recording Morning Dance Eli Konikoff replaced Ted Reinhardt on drums and Freddy Rapillo returned to the group to replace Rick Strauss.

Late in 1978, prior to the release of the album, Rochester guitarist Chet Catallo replaced Freddy Rapillo in the band. The musical chairs of the revolving band membership, borne out of the jam scene beginnings of the band along with the appearance of guest musicians, set the template for the next few albums. The performing band became a standardized unit while the early recordings remained more of a collaboration of Jay Beckenstein, co-producer Richard Calandra and Jeremy Wall accompanied by some of the biggest names in the NYC jazz world.


shaker song

morning dance

The Deep End NSJF 2004


Wiggle Room (Scott Ambush bass solo)

Old San Juan

Para Ti Latino

Catching the Sun

Patterns in the rain

Midnight Thunder

A Winter Tale


Va place Anna Mae?


Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an eight time Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter, dancer, sex symbol, best selling author and an NAACP Image Award winning actress. Turner’s consistent contributions to rock music have earned her the title „The Queen of Rock & Roll.” Besides rock music, she has also performed R&B, soul, dance and pop music. She was listed on Rolling Stone’s list The Immortals — The Greatest Artists of All Time. Turner is represented in the Grammy Hall of Fame with two of her singles inducted including „River Deep – Mountain High” (1999) and „Proud Mary” (2003).

Turner has been acknowledged as one of the world’s most popular and biggest-selling music artists of all time and is the most successful female rock artist of all time with record sales exceeding 80 million copies worldwide. Turner has accumulated many hit albums and singles worldwide, as a solo act and with former husband, Ike Turner (as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue) She has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history.

Turner’s world tour Break Every Rule Tour had record breaking ticket sales, visited by over four million fans. Turner also beat out The Rolling Stones by touring Europe with 121 shows during her sold out Foreign Affair Tour in 1990. She ended up playing to four million people in just six months. Her 1996 Wildest Dreams Tour was performed to 3.5 million people over 250 dates through 2 years. Her most recent tour was 2000’s Twenty Four Seven Tour. It was the highest grossing tour of the year and is the 5th biggest grossing tour in America ever.

The popular press has referred to Turner favorably as „the truest rock diva of all”, „soul’s first real diva,” „the most dynamic female soul singer in the history of the music,” and „one of soul music’s most incendiary performers.”

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee on November 26, 1939, the daughter of Zelma (née Currie), a factory worker, and Floyd Richard Bullock, a Baptist deacon, farm overseer and factory worker. She is of African-American descent.  But the results of a DNA test featured on African American Lives 2 showed Turner was only 1% Native American. Turner attended Flag Grove School in Haywood County Tennessee. The land for the school was sold below market value to the school trustees by Turner’s great granduncle in 1889. They moved from Nutbush to St. Louis to reunite with their mother in 1956.

In 1960, when a singer scheduled to record the song, „A Fool In Love”, didn’t appear, Bullock stepped in and recorded the vocals instead. „A Fool In Love” was a huge R&B hit reaching #2 crossing over to the top 30 of the US pop chart. Ike changed Bullock’s name to Tina (after Sheena: Queen of the Jungle) and his band’s to The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. In 1962, the two married in Mexico.

Turner raised four sons — Ike Jr. and Michael (from Ike’s previous relationship), Craig (born 1960, from her earlier relationship with Raymond Hill, a saxophone player in Ike’s band) and Ronald (son of Ike and Tina; born 1961).

Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Ike and Tina rose to stardom. As times and musical styles changed, Tina developed a unique stage persona as a singer-dancer-performer which thrilled audiences of the group’s live concerts. Tina and the Revue’s backup singers, The Ikettes, wove intricate and electrifying dance routines into their performances and influenced many other artists including Mick Jagger (for whose 1966 UK tour they opened).

Having opened his own recording studio – Bolic Sound – following the lucrative success of „Proud Mary”, Ike produced Tina’s first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On in 1974. It failed to make an impact on the charts, as did the follow-up, Acid Queen (1975), released to tie in with Tina’s critically acclaimed big-screen debut in the role of the same name in The Who’s rock opera, Tommy.

After a final vicious beating before an appearance in Dallas over the Fourth of July weekend in 1976, Tina abruptly left Ike, fleeing with nothing more than thirty-six cents and a gas-station credit card. She spent the next few months hiding from Ike, staying with various friends and relying on food stamps to exist.

Although well-known and respected as a performer before she separated from Ike Turner, it was in 1984 that she staged what has been widely considered the most „amazing comeback in rock music history”.  In May, Capitol released the single What’s Love Got To Do With It in the U.S. to promote the upcoming album. Only 11 radio stations had taken it to their playlists. Tina’s manager Roger Davies enforced Capitol to promote it more. Two weeks after its release, the song was on the playlists of over 100 stations and was now in the Top 50.

On September 1, What’s Love Got To Do With It hit #1. At the time Tina was the oldest person to have a #1 hit.”


Sursa foto:


Fool In Love & Work Out Fine

Whole Lotta Love

Proud Mary

Nutbush city limit

Private Dancer

What’s Love Got To Do With It

 Simply The Best


Edith And The Kingpin – jazz 🙂

In Your Wildest Dreams (with Barry White)

State Of Shock & It’s Only Rock’n’ Roll ( with Mick Jagger – LIVE AID)


Eric Clapton, Tina Truner ,Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler & Elton John