Smooth jazz outfit Spyro Gyra are readying the release of their new album, Good To Go-Go, on June 12th, via Heads Up. The 12-track album is the platinum-selling band's 26th, and their fifth release on Heads Up.
The band has also made a line-up change with the addition of Trinidad native Bonny B (short for Bonaparte) on drums and percussion. He had been touring with the band prior to the recording of Good To Go-Go and the band credits him with modifying their overall philosophy.
Group founder and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein said of the new face in the band's line-up, "The fact that we had this new drummer with this great spirit about him prompted us to go in the direction of a more live-sounding, less produced record. The band was just sounding so killer on the road that I wanted to capture some of that energy and reproduce it on the record. When you bring somebody new on board who's bringing some unexpected things with him, it shakes you up a little bit and puts you in new territory. It's been a process of discovery for all of us, and it's been a lot of fun."
Beckenstein said: "I think that along our journeys -- and we've journeyed into a lot of different styles and not all of them fit under the smooth jazz umbrella--but in those journeys we've come up with some combinations of pop and jazz and R&B and jazz that pre-dated what came to be known as smooth jazz. And in that sense, some of what we did, we were smooth jazz innovators. But to say that what we were doing when we were doing that was we were playing smooth jazz, wouldn't be accurate because it was a very small percentage amongst many other things we were doing musically."
He also said that working with the group has only gotten better: "It has gotten easier and easier. I mean after 30 years, something that tends to disappear, or at least it has with us, is the ego-based problems. Nobody feels threatened by anybody else. Nobody feels that if somebody else comes up with something really, really good that it puts me to the side or it makes me smaller in any way. We all root for each other."
Tour dates to support Good To Go-Go have not yet been announced.
The Good To Go-Go track listing is as follows:
"The Left Bank"
"Along For The Ride"
"A Winter Tale"
"Good To Go-Go"