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Laura Nyro

THE LOOM'S DESIRE (Rounder) • Laura Nyro

The tragically premature passing of this quintessential NYC songwriter elevates an otherwise revealing and personal pair of concerts into a precious document of an era. When songwriters had roots that ran deeper than just other songwriters that had roots.

Like Carole King, the songs of Lauro Nyro were made from her doo wop and soul influences, and in that, they were unto themselves. Nyro's represent a kind of songwriterdom that drew hard from Motown, but lifted it into a different art form. Darker and deeper than King, without taking anything away from the undeniable contribution of Carole King into the lexicon of our pop music. The differences in their voices told the story. I wish there were more female songwriters around that had been more influenced by Laura Nyro and less by Joni Mitchell. (I like her, too, but enough, already.)

The artist had a tradition of NYC hometown concerts on Christmas Eve. This two CD set are the '93 and '94 concerts at The Bottom Line with her outstanding harmony group and the artist on solo piano and vocals. To quote the lovely notes by executive producer and business partner Eileen Silver-Lillywhite, "Laura was creating art, not entertainment, and her audiences were not only moved by her music, but somehow healed." (And of whom, O Lord, can that be said today...?)

So, for all lovers like myself of the incredible Laura Nyro catalog, this set is a valuable last look at a fantastic and irreplaceable artist. It photographs the last live music she performed. I will look for copies now of Eli and the Thirteenth Confesssion and It's Gonna Take a Miracle, now I need them again in my house. • FG

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