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New York Tendaberry

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Editors’ Notes

With New York Tendaberry (1969), Laura Nyro took the innovations of Eli And The Thirteenth Confession to even greater extremes. The emotional heights and depths of this album are not for the mellow-minded. Street-corner R&B, uptown jazz and Broadway musical forms are shattered and recombined in startling ways; instrumental colors flit, shiver and explode around Nyro’s dramatic piano chords and wailing vocals. The lyrics are as feverish as the music — she conjures up demonic lovers in “Captain Saint Lucifer” and “Gibsom Street” and contemplates murder in “Tom Cat Goodbye.” Pleasure and torment come wrapped together in tracks like “Sweet Lovin Baby.” There are glimpses of urban landscapes both jarring (“Mercy On Broadway”) and enraptured (the title track). Mitigating the moodiness are songs of gospel-tinged celebration — “Time And Love” rises to a joyful chorus, while the anthemic “Save The Country” burns with idealism. At times, Nyro teeters on the brink of excess, but her command of pop songwriting fundamentals saves her on this wildly risk-taking record.

Customer Reviews

Welcome to Laura's Neighborhood

Back in the day, when the New York airwaves were full of all kinds of music and FM radio had on-air personalities like Rosco and Alison Steele (the Nightbird); before the homogenization of taste and risk adverse programming; before the secularization and compartmentalization of music; there were songs that lifted me up and carried me away from the drudgery of high school. Instead of tracing geometric figures in mechanical drawing class, a friend and I would swap tales about the music and the great labels that had the courage to put all kinds of music in the public's ear. Atlantic/Atco, Blue Note, Columbia, Elektra/Nonesuch, Motown, Prestige, Riverside, Stax, and Warner Bros. all come to mind. During this period, after the Beatles' demise and before Disco, the airwaves were filled with music that reflected not only the tumult of the times but provided a forum for the passion and creativity that was brewing. If you gave a listen you could hear it all: Blues, Classical, Country, Folk, Gospel, Jazz, Pop, and World, political and a-political, top 40 and something the DJ just happened to share. It was all out there, just a twist of the radio dial away! (Closer to home) A few singer/songwriter's efforts stand out: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and Laura Nyro's New York Tendaberry are notable in their honesty. Tendaberry is such a New York album. Granted, Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, Joni Mitchell, Billy Strayhorn, the Velvet Underground, and others have invoked Gotham, but Tendaberry truly takes you on a journey to Laura's neighborhood. A neighborhood fraught with peril and vulnerability but infused with hope and love. Imagine, if you will, a soundtrack to accompany Edward Hopper's cityscapes not unlike Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition". When Tendaberry came out, I rushed home and put it on my record player and waited....and waited....and was shocked by this quiet gem. Where were the sons and daughters of Eli? I had to stop, quiet myself, re-read the liner notes and then, when I had the time to listen, truly hear this wonderful, twilight introspective composition. Then it made perfect sense - on her terms, not mine. This is music for reflection and regret, for anticipation and celebration - music to mourn the passing of the day while anticipating the promise and fulfillment of the night. My only criticism of the work is that he order of songs should be reversed. Let me explain. Side one of the LP starts with "You Don't Love Me When I Cry" and ends with "Save the Country" - bold, brash and brassy. Side two starts with "Gibsom Street and ended with "Sweet Lovin' Baby". Much too quiet after the ending of Side One. So, before the advent of CD's and programmable CD players, I reversed the order and taped Side Two first and then Side One. On playback, the emotional journey and mood are much more sustainable and rewarding. Give it a chance. Enjoy the journey. You can listen to the extra cuts later.

This is wonderful music!

Can't believe there are no reviews for this one...It's amazing. New York Tendaberry is beautiful.

Laura at her best!

This is Laura Nyro, at her best. I have the orginal record album. It is worn out. I discovered her right before college. This is my favorite album. I love every song!


Born: October 18, 1947 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '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 fusion of gospel, soul, folk, and jazz structures -- remain her definitive artistic legacy. The daughter of a jazz trumpeter, she was born Laura Nigro on October 18, 1947, and composed her first songs...
Full Bio
New York Tendaberry, Laura Nyro
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Soft Rock, Rock, Singer/Songwriter
  • Released: Sep 24, 1969

Customer Ratings