Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this music junkie as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. Compact Discs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no files.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spyro Gyra - Incognito (1982)

Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

Although I had been familiar with Spyro Gyra since hearing Morning Dance on AM Radio when it was a crossover hit, Incognito was the first Spyro Gyra album that I bought. I was sixteen years old, and most of my album purchases were along the lines of Duran Duran and Adam Ant, but this album captured my attention from the first playing. I remember the mystery that surrounded the packaging. No pictures of the band. Band personnel changed from one track to the next. What was with this group with the misspelled name?

Of course the purchase of this album immediately brought about the purchase of earlier SG albums, but this has always been my favorite. It is immediately relaxing and puts me in a good mood from the first bass note of Last Exit. I've since seen the band live twice and they didn't disappoint. If I was forced to pick 25 CDs to take with me to the hypothetical "deserted island" this release would definitely be considered to make that short list. This album introduced me to some of my favorite 80's jazz session musicians including Richard Tee, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd, and Hiram Bullock among others.

  • Billboard: "rhythmically sure-footed pop instrumentals"
  • Stereo Review: "glides effortlessly by on its spry, crafty melodies, surehanded arrangements, and flawless production"
  • The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide (1999): ★½
  • The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999): ★★

Album chart peaks:
  • US Billboard Top 200: #46
  • Billboard Jazz: #2
  • Billboard R&B: #39
  • CashBox: #61
  • CashBox Jazz: #1
  • Radio & Records Jazz Radio National Airplay: #1
  • Rolling Stone: #56

Tracks: I like all of them. This is one of those albums that I can easily sing along with every note including vocalizing every instrumental solo.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Hearing this immediately takes me back to the rainy autumn days of high school, when I would lay on my bed and do nothing except listen to music.

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