Laura Nyro - vocals, piano
Laura Nyro was a pioneer in combining the pure essence of folk-rock with gospel based blues that she vocalized with a powerful and haunting dispatch. Probably better known as a composer for other artists such as the Fifth Dimension, Barbra Streisand, Blood Sweat and Tears and Three Dog Night, Laura's own legacy of concert performances was sketchy at best.
Nyro's skills on the piano come from formal training at the Manhattan School of Music and Art. Among her very first shows was a set at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, when she was booed offstage for not only her performance but her appearance as well. This soured her to touring although she continued to record. Bill Graham could occasionally get Laura to do live sets at one of the Fillmores, but overall she didn't perform very much over the years.
This rare Fillmore East show featured a 24-year-old Nyro coming home to New York. Soon after this show, she retired, got married and moved to New England. In 1975 she divorced and returned to the music business. Laura recorded and toured but by that time couldn't quite regain what she had lost during her hiatus, and in 1978 retired for the second time. Over the next two decades she occasionally recorded but, sadly, died of cancer in 1997, at the age of 49.
This concert features a variety of Laura's compositions from the obscure "Emmie" and "Poverty Train" to the better known "And When I Die" and "Walk On By." Especially strong is "Time and Love," with a lead in to a stunning rendition of "Save The Country." This song really showcases Laura's powerful vocal and emotional range. "Up On The Roof" is a tribute to Carole King who Laura looked up to as a composer and a fellow New Yorker. Carole's tenure at the infamous Brill Building was particularly inspiring to Laura.
This concert is a rare listen to of an often misunderstood Jewish girl from the Bronx. Her enormous talent and passion are very much evident at this intimate show. A capable performer who is very much at home in her homecoming concert at the Fillmore East, this is Laura Nyro at her very best.