Another all-instrumental cd from groovemaster Barry "King Happy" Hyman, THE SPICE OF LIFE features guitar, trumpet, pedal steel guitar, sax, harmonica, alto recorder, flute, and mandolin solos, with lots of percussion and a big horn section. The instrumentals are all original compositions but have Caribbean, Latin, African, Brazilian, R&B, and Celtic roots. This cd is the long-awaited sequel to Hyman's More Than Halfway Home album.
Barry is joined by his old friends Jared Shapiro (bass, cello, alto recorder, oud, percussion) and Johnny Yuma (drums and percussion). Miri Wolf plays percussion on every tune. The horns are played by Charlie Schneeweis (trumpet) and Josh Greenberg (sax and flute). Special guest Marty Satalino plays mandolin on one cut. Barry and Jared play together in the band Natural History (since 1973!), Barry, Marty and Josh play together in the Hill Hollow Band, Charlie is a member of Simba (a band Barry played with from 1995 to 2000) and Johnny has been Barry's favorite drummer, on stage and in the studio, since 1980.
The format is the same as More Than Halfway Home and Barry's two cds with the band Zuela -- world fusion instrumental grooves. What is different about this cd is the fully-developed horn section parts and the use of pedal steel as well as guitar solos. Barry has been playing pedal steel guitar since 1972, but, if you know anything about that instrument, it takes thirty or forty years to get good at it! And horn section parts are no easy task either -- most musicians know that the economics of the music business make a big band with lots of horns almost impossible to sustain. So this cd represents the culmination of dreams that Barry has been pursuing for decades, and we sincerely hope you will enjoy it in the spirit in which it was made!