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Season of Lights. . . Laura Nyro In Concert (With Bonus Track) [Live]

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Reseña de álbum

Containing the only released live material to feature Laura Nyro during the '70s, Season of Lights — Complete Version was, indeed, a treasure for any and all enthusiasts of the singer/songwriter. The album compiled highlights from the 1976 North American tour, which heralded her triumphant return to both the studio and stage after half a decade in self-imposed artistic exile. Joining Nyro is a nine-piece band, many of whom had accompanied her on her most recent studio effort, Smile, which is apt, as half of the album is represented here. However, the majority of this 75-minute set is concentrated on tracks from her other five studio efforts, spanning the whole of her first decade (1966-1976) as writer and performer. When Nyro returned with Smile, it became clear that she re-emerged with a few new textures, most prominently a jazz-rock fusion somewhat similar in style to that of Steely Dan. In fact, several studio stalwarts — notably the Brecker Brothers (brass/woodwinds), Hugh McCracken (guitar), and Rick Marotta (drums) — were working with both artists concurrently. She also scored a few legendary jazz musicians — such as Richard Davis (bass), John Tropea (guitar), and Michael Mainieri (vibes/Baliphone/clavinet) — whose collaborations continued on the road and can likewise be heard throughout Season of Lights. Together, the ensemble re-create engaging versions of tracks from the new album, including "Money," "I Am the Blues," and the medley of "Smile" and "Mars." The latter title is not a new song, but rather the Eastern-influenced instrumental coda initially incorporated into the studio version of "Smile." Additionally, the arrangement of "The Cat Song" has been stretched out to include an inspired instrumental section between the verses. "Morning News" — the newest composition on Season of Lights — clocks in at a mere two minutes. However, what is lacking in length is compensated for in the collective noir of Nyro's piano and Mainieri's vibes, creating a sonic miasma that amply supports, but never overpowers, the song's weighty lyrical content. There are a few new visages for favorites such as "And When I Die," the shuffle groove adopted on "The Confession," as well as "Timer," which begins with a solo piano accompaniment overhauled into a full-blown fusion of funk and jazz. Other choice performances from Nyro's back catalog include a stark solo reading of "When I Was a Freeport and You Were the Main Drag," as well as a relaxed and supple version of "Captain St. Lucifer." Season of Lights was apparently to have been issued as a double LP, with a handful of promotional copies pressed as such; when it hit store shelves in the early summer of 1977, however, the title had been condensed into a single ten-track disc. As the album was never re-pressed, only the severely truncated version ever appeared officially. This was corrected in 1995, when Sony Music Japan issued their "complete version" on CD, which included six additional performances, as well as an unedited "Captain St. Lucifer" and a wholly unique band version of "Timer," unlike the solo reading featured on the vinyl release. As if the additional music was not enough, the 46-page liner-notes booklet includes reproductions of the original LP artwork and several other pieces of rare and alternate album cover art. Also featured is a lyric sheet — replete with unintentionally humorous phonetic interpretations — as well as copious discographical information. After Nyro's passing in 1997, the Japanese CD was discontinued and remains a highly sought-after collectors' item for enthusiasts fortunate enough to locate copies.

Biografía

Nacido(a): 18 de octubre de 1947 en New York, NY [The Bronx]

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Laura Nyro was one of pop music's true originals: A brilliant and innovative composer, her songs found greater commercial success in the hands of other performers, but her own records — intricate, haunting works highlighting her singularly powerful vocal phrasing, evocative lyrics, and alchemical...
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