Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My appreciation for the beauty of original songwriters sometimes arrives through the stylistic interpretation of other artists.
A singer and songwriter that I treasure is Laura Nyro. I have written about her artistic impact several times on this music blog. This morning I happened upon a soulful music blog post, “Remembering Laura Nyro” by Richard Williams. It put me in touch with jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs.
Billy Childs received a Grammy award for Best Arrangement Instrumental and Vocals for the choice, “New York Tendaberry”. The track features cellist Yo-Yo Ma, classical soprano Renee Fleming and Billy on piano.
Map To The Treasure, Reimagining Laura Nyro is a polished work. I like that Billy Childs and Larry Klein were painstaking in their choices of Laura Nyro’s songs. The album delves into classic hits and deeper tracks. Its a smart contrast that enhances the listener’s knowledge of Laura Nyro’s genius.
I discovered The Christine Spero Group by hyperlink very close after reading Richard William’s blog post. I was reviewing Steve Katz’s tour dates when I noticed that Steve Katz would be joining Christine Spero at My Father’s Place (Page One Restaurant) on Glen Cove, Long Island to perform the music of Laura Nyro on Friday April 10, 2015.
I thought about the Blood, Sweat and Tears album and their interpretation of Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die”. I had my synchronicity.
“Christine Spero and I shared a bill at the new Towne Crier in Beacon NY. I knew that Christine was doing a tribute to my old friend Laura Nyro, but I wasn’t prepared for just how amazing Christine’s performance turned out to be. She was able to channel Laura with all the feeling and intelligence that the music warranted, but, at the same time, made Laura’s music her own. A delightful evening all around – one that I hope will be repeated often.” – Steve Katz