The band Spyro Gyra has been performing for almost 40 years now, and their signature song was released way back on their second album. It remains their biggest hit, and is surely played whenever the band performs live. From an era where it was nothing to hear instrumental songs next to the pop and R&B hits of the day, “Morning Dance” is the Smooth Jazz Sunday song for today.
Much like Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good,” (which I wrote about a couple weeks ago), “Morning Dance” is a song that gives off a feel good vibe. For me, it represents the song that introduced me to the group. Though they had released an earlier album that included their first pop single “Shaker Song,” it was this one and the accompanying album of the same name that I first heard. And as is the case with many other artists that I grew to follow, I began picking up Spyro Gyra albums. For a long time, you could count on them to release something each year, and every year I’d look forward to hearing what else they could come up with.
Many look at Spyro Gyra and see them as one of the pillars of what is now called smooth jazz, along with Grover Washington, Jr., David Sanborn, the Crusaders and others. Smooth jazz saxophonist Boney James cites Spyro Gyra as a major influence, especially this song. Their fifth “best of” compilation was just released in June (this one for their time on the Heads Up International label from 2001-2009). They also still tour, playing over one hundred shows a year. In fact, they were in Maryland just over a couple weeks ago, doing a show in Bethesda.
I hope you enjoy “Morning Dance,” and maybe it brings back some memories for you. As always, thanks for reading and listening.