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Spyro Gyra: A Foreign Affair

Spyro Gyra returns with its second album in three years, this one reflecting musical influences that span the globe. Aptly titled, A Foreign Affair takes listeners around the world in 11 songs, beginning with the reggae-inflected "Caribe," which is followed by "Khuda," a seductive excursion punctuated with all-Hindu lyrics. From there, Spyro Gyra travel to Trinidad for a Calypso-flavored, steel-drum party on "Sweet Ole Thang," kick up some Middle Eastern funk on "Falling Walls" (and knock down doors, too, with Julio Fernandez's guitar solo) and go for a stroll through "Shinjuku" — named after a famous Tokyo nightlife area. Other sonic stops include Guatemala ("Antigua"), Brazil ("Samba for Two") and South Africa ("Dancing on Table Mountain").

But the international theme doesn't end there: "Chileno Boys" was written by Israeli artist David Broza and adapted from a poem by Mexican-American author Alberto Rios, and "Last Call" — sung by American bluesman Keb' Mo' — brings Spyro Gyra's music back to the United States and the birthplace of jazz.

A few songs may venture a little too far into "Sunday-morning jazz" territory for some listeners, but that's what Spyro Gyra does. And it's easy to understand why this quintet has seen its last four albums nominated for a Grammy; A Foreign Affair takes risks without alienating Spyro Gyra's core audience, and it might even attract some new listeners. After 35 years, that's quite an accomplishment.

Track Listing:
1) Caribe
2) Khuda
3) Sweet Ole Thang
4) Falling Walls
5) Shinjuku
6) Chileno Boys
7) Samba for Two
8) Canção de Ninar
9) Antigua
10) Last Call
11) Dancing on Table Mountain

Added: October 20th 2011
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Spyro Gyra Website
Hits: 2252
Language: english

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