“We’ve always had a yearning to do a record that was kind of a straightahead record – or at least something closer to a straightahead record than what we normally do,” says Spyro Gyra’s Jay Beckenstein. “But it’s always been very difficult to make that work in the context of what we do on most of our records. But a Christmas record was sort of an opportunity to really go someplace a little more subtle, a little more acoustic and more traditional.”
A Night Before Christmas is the first full holiday recording by Spyro Gyra. They had a couple of Christmas songs on two GRP Christmas Collections but this is the recording for those who can’t enough of Santa Gyra. The band selected ten familiar Christmas songs and Beckenstein composed a new song which features Tony Award winning vocalist Christine Ebersole. This isn’t a fully stripped-down version of the band with all acoustic instruments but the straight approach does add some appropriate warmth to the music.
“Christmas has always been a huge part of my life,” Beckenstein says. “It’s a celebration of all the things that are good and redeeming about humanity – compassion, hope, generosity, forgiveness, renewal, family, all those things.”