Recommended if You Like
Laura Nyro Pat Metheny Tania Maria

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Type: Vocal Jazz: Latin Jazz Pop: 60's Pop Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Type: Tributes

By Location
United States - NY - Upstate NY

Links
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The Christine Spero Group

Album Notes
In a new, one-of-a-kind show, “Spero Plays Nyro,” pianist/singer, Christine Spero and her group keep the magic of Laura Nyro’s music alive while infusing it with their own unique personality. The new Cd, "Spero Plays Nyro" captures the essence of this show. Christine's new piece, "Laura and John ", an homage to Laura and John Coltrane is included. Laura Nyro was the quintessential singer/songwriter/pianist whose groundbreaking music crossed the genres of folk, rock, pop and jazz. Many of Laura's songs became major pop hits for a diverse range of artists such as The 5th Dimension ("Wedding Bell Blues," "Stoned Soul Picnic"), Barbara Streisand ("Stoney End"), Three Dog Night ("Eli's Coming") and Blood Sweat & Tears ("And When I Die"). Her premature passing in 1997 shocked her fans and in 2012 she was posthumously inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Christine Spero, Winner and Finalist of the USA Songwriting Competition Jazz/category, had her start in the music business as a teen with legendary producer Don Kirschner and Neil Sedaka. She earned numerous accolades for her melodic, emotionally powerful and soulful writing and performing. Christine has loved Laura's music from a young age when she was given a promotional copy of "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" by a college radio DJ friend. She was inspired by Laura's music to be bold in writing, singing, and playing piano and her two Cds, "We Call it Music" and "My Spanish Dream" have received strong press from USA Today, Billboard, JazzTimes, JAZZIZ, Time Out New York and The Village Voice. You can find her music streaming on Pandora, Jango, Spotify. Downloads available on itunes.

Performance Reviews:
"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 (Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Blues Project)

"Christine Spero blew away any elitest music critic prejudices I may have had about a singer/songwriter devoting an entire evening's performance to covers of another artist. Christine Spero took the works of one of her early mentors, Laura Nyro, and recreated them in her own image. And what an image it was. This woman has a lover's touch on piano, a jazz master's vocabulary and a vocal splendor perfectly matched by a band that is nothing short of breathtaking." - Don Wilcock (The Saratogian, Troy Record, Nippertown)

Along with Christine, the group, consisting of bassist Scott Petito, (James Taylor), drummer Peter O'Brien (Orleans, Edgar Winter) and saxophonist/percussionist Elliot Spero, displays all of the attributes of experienced accompaniment accomplished only by years of experience in the pop and jazz trade.

LAURA AND JOHN Music and lyrics by Christine Spero copyright 2012

“Take it home, listen to it,” he said.
Melody, incense in my head,
All alone, making this time by myself
When I tapped into your spell.
Time would help many to see
that you were then out of the ordinary.
Open up the treasure box, feast on new
Where are you, you left the party too soon.

You talked to your mountain
You saw beyond the wall
You painted night and your words became light
You taught us all.

Laura, you were the oyster’s pearl
and John, you took me out of this world
Steppin’ into places I’d never been
with you to hold my hand.
Back at home they were all trying in vain
To find the sounds you were already playing
Faces in the ashes looking back
Rise through the smoke
Where are you, you left the party too soon.

You talked to your mountain (wonderful, beautiful)
You saw beyond the wall (wonderful, beautiful)
You painted night and your words became light
You taught us.

We all are part of that river that inhabits heart and mind.
And now we can have you forever
‘cause a good friend is so hard to find.

You talked to your mountain (wonderful, beautiful)
You saw beyond the wall (wonderful, beautiful)
You painted night and your words became light
You touched us, you touched us
You touch us now.

The story behind "Laura and John"
Laura Nyro’s music came into my life in 1968 when a college radio DJ friend gave me a promotional copy of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. I was a pianist/singer in the pop and classical world with my own harmony groups and only a teenager, but singing her music made me feel like a worldly, sexy, sad, joyful woman. I couldn’t wait to play that record every day after school. I wore it out!
The album had with it a scented lyric sheet which I, regrettably have since lost. I will always remember that perfumed ink as I was transported by her ethereal lyrics and celestial voice. I had never heard anyone or any music like hers before and truthfully, since. And oh, those harmonies....heavenly! She was one of a kind and sadly left us too soon.
Shortly after, I was turned onto John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner and their music moved and inspired me. I later found out that they were also some of Laura's favorite and influential musicians. A few years ago I was inspired to write a song to thank both of them. “Laura and John” is an homage to her and John Coltrane, two of the greatest and most creative musicians of our time.
No one ever wrote, sang, or performed like Laura Nyro and even though she is gone she still touches us now.

I found three wonderful musicians who shared my enthusiasm and commitment to Laura’s music. The requests of many of Laura’s fans at our live shows confirmed the making of this CD. Without losing the integrity of her songs we began a unique musical adventure. We hope you are as touched as we are by her music and enjoy our renditions.

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