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A Foreign Affair by Spyro Gyra
Released: Jan 2012
Label: Amherst Records
There's something of a return to Spyro Gyra's buoyant late-'70s stuff in the leadoff track to A Foreign Affair. But after the sunny opening, the group's vague venture into international influences is a bit put on, like the soundtrack to Epcot Center. There's the Hindi lyrics of "Khuda," the pentatonic melody and classical Japanese touches of "Shinjuku" and a portrait of "Chileno Boys" that could use some cultural sensitivity training. Though low points are voyeuristic smooth-jazz tourism, Jay Beckenstein's twisting soprano lines and a few agreeable bossa nova grooves are redeeming.
Nate Cavalieri

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