Spyro Gyra with Bonny B.
Spyro Gyra with Bonny B.
Spyro Gyra Nominations

SPYRO GYRA & HEADS UP ~ THE MUSICAL DREAM TEAM

By Dave Love, Founder of Heads Up International

 

We're very honored to have Bonny on Spyro Gyra's - "Best of the Heads Up Years" that was released in 2016.  The fourteen tracks collected here provide a satisfying snapshot of what Spyro Gyra was all about during the decade in which they recorded with Heads Up.  “Funkyard Dog,” from Good To Go Go, is everything the title suggests. It’s built on a raw, funky groove generated by drummer Bonny B, whose work is deep in the pocket here.

This album featured Bonny on six songs including "Funkyard Dog," "The Tippin' Point," "Get Busy" "Simple Pleasures" and "Island Time."

Bonny B. joins Spyro Gyra in 2006.
 
Spyro Gyra leader Jay Beckenstein credits the addition of Trinidadian drummer Bonny B with juicing the long-running contemporary jazz band's sound, making it more "live-sounding." Wherever the stimulus came from, "Good to Go-Go" is one of the more forceful albums by Beckenstein and company. The drummer's Caribbean-style "Jam Up," featuring Andy Narell on steel drums and Bonny B. on vocals is infectious in a tightly wound way and melodically flavorful.
 
 This is the band's 26th album and garnered Bonny two Grammy Nominations with Spyro Gyra's "Good to Go-Go"  for Best Pop Instrumental Album and Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Simple Pleasures."

A Night Before Christmas is the thirtieth album (and first Christmas album) by Spyro Gyra, recorded and released in 2008. The album peaked at No. 14 on the Holiday Albums chart at Billboard magazine. 

 

In 2009, Bonny received his third Grammy Nomination for "The Best Pop Instrumental" on "A Night Before Christmas."  He added vocals to this album singing on"The Christmas Song" and a duet with Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer) on "Baby It's Cold Outside."

"Bonny B. wrote the riveting "Ice Mountain," a song that shows how easily the group can shift from one style to another; in this case, from straight-ahead to fusion. It's difficult not to think of Weather Report, with the blending of sax, keyboards, guitar, bass and drums right out of the Zawinul-Shorter-Pastorius handbook, especially when two or more players strike the same notes at blazing, stop-time speed. And when they all go in different directions, buckle up, because there's quite a ride ahead."  (All About Jazz)

 

"Down the Wire" is the thirty-first album by Spyro Gyra, released on April 28, 2009. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2010. Down the Wire peaked at No. 9 on the jazz album chart at Billboard magazine.

 

This was Bonny's fourth Grammy Nomination for "Best Pop Instrumental" on the cut,

"Down The Wire." 

Over 30 years into one of contemporary jazz fusion's most extraordinary evolving musical journeys, saxophonist and founder Jay Beckenstein's concept of "A Foreign Affair" began.

The results are dynamic, exotic, high-spirited, loaded with invention and improvisation, and even slightly spiritual in spots. 

 

They start with a relaxed and silky, sax-driven reggae sway on Beckenstein's "Caribe," then start dancing with Schuman's synth pans in fiery sync with the punchy lines on Bonny B.'s festive "Sweet Ole Thang" which marks the comeback of the steel pans, where it all started for Bonny in the 1960's Trinidad. Cuts on A Foreign Affair music came from music and sounds of Japan, India, Brazil, Guatemala and the United States. 

 

The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard jazz album chart.  

On the very last day of the millennium, Bonny takes the drums to play the Millennium Bash in Williamsburg, VA. This was the first of an incredible experience with Bruce!
 
Touring with Grammy Award winning and Platinum recording artist Bruce Hornsby from 1999-2002 was a wonderful journey. In 2000, "Here Come the Noisemakers" was Hornsby's first LIVE album as well as the first, with his touring act "The Noisemakers."  that featured his new drummer, Bonny B.
 The second album Bonny has been featured on is "Big Swing Face" which was release in 2002. It was Hornsby's first studio album with his touring band, the Noisemakers. ​ 
 
In 2004, Halcyon Days became the  eighth studio album by Bruce Hornsby and his first release with Columbia Records. The album marked a return to a more acoustic, piano-driven sound that reviewers described as "pure Hornsby."
 
Guests included Sting, Elton John and Eric Clapton and was Bonny's third album with Bruce. 
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Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers 

* In November of 2011,  suffered very serious health issues and his doctors advised against traveling which posed a threat to his recovery.

 

Life on the road was at that time, not an option. 

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