Time for a little sophistication here at Blabber’n’Smoke. Late night sophistication in fact in the form of this exquisite tribute to the late Laura Nyro from jazz musician, Billy Childs. Childs has rearranged a slew of Nyro songs and invited guest vocalists to breathe new life into them. The guests include Renée Fleming, Rickie Lee Jones, Alison Krauss and Dianne Reeves while Jerry Douglas turns up on Dobro and Wayne Shorter adds sax, the whole produced by Larry Klein, no stranger to enigmatic female singer songwriters.
The orchestration is superb with the strings in perfect harmony with the jazz instrumentation and while several of the songs are not immediately recognisable from the originals the spirit of Nyro can be felt throughout. Rickie Lee Jones’ interpretation of Been On A Train is the current favourite here but all of the songs bear repeated listening. Definitely recommended for lovers of Laura Nyro while fans of modern jazz will find it interesting.