"Spero Plays Nyro" Now Available @ Cdbaby.com  iTunes & Amazon. Or come to one of our shows and pick one up. We would love to say hello!

Including one original track, "Laura & John" (lyrics below).

 

 In the new, one-of-a-kind show, “Spero Plays Nyro,” the Christine Spero Group maintains the integrity of Laura Nyro’s music while infusing it with their own unique personality. Christine's interview on NPR NY/MA discussed the CD of the same name to be released January 15th. Christine has loved Laura's music from a young age when she was given Eli and the Thirteenth Confession by a radio DJ friend. She was inspired by Laura's music to be bold in writing, singing, and playing piano. Laura Nyro was the quintessential singer/songwriter and pianist whose groundbreaking music crossed the genres of folk, rock, and jazz. She became one of the most covered artists in the 1960's and 1970's with such songs as “Eli's Coming,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” and “Sweet Blindness.” Her tragically premature passing in 1997 shocked her fans and in 2012 she was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

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Performance Reviews:
"Christine Spero and I shared a bill at the new Towne Crier in Beacon NY. I knew that Christine was doing a tribute to my old friend Laura Nyro, but I wasn’t prepared for just how amazing Christine’s performance turned out to be. She was able to channel Laura with all the feeling and intelligence that the music warranted, but, at the same time, made Laura’s music her own. A delightful evening all around - one that I hope will be repeated often." - Steve Katz (Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Blues Project)

"Christine Spero blew away any elitest music critic prejudices I may have had about a singer/songwriter devoting an entire evening's performance to covers of another artist. Christine Spero took the works of one of her early mentors, Laura Nyro, and recreated them in her own image. And what an image it was. This woman has a lover's touch on piano, a jazz master's vocabulary and a vocal splendor perfectly matched by a band that is nothing short of breathtaking." - Don Wilcock (The Saratogian, Troy Record, Nippertown)

Along with Christine, the group, consisting of bassist Scott Petito, (James and Livingston Taylor, Dave Brubeck, Michael Franks), drummer Peter O'Brien (Orleans, Edgar Winter) and saxophonist/percussionist Elliot Spero, displays all of the attributes of experienced accompaniment accomplished only by years of experience in the pop and jazz trade.

LAURA AND JOHN Music and lyrics by Christine Spero copyright 2012

“Take it home, listen to it,” he said.
Melody, incense in my head,
All alone, making this time by myself
When I tapped into your spell.
Time would help many to see
that you were then out of the ordinary.
Open up the treasure box, feast on new
Where are you, you left the party too soon.

You talked to your mountain
You saw beyond the wall
You painted night and your words became light
You taught us all.

Laura, you were the oyster’s pearl
and John, you took me out of this world
Steppin’ into places I’d never been
with you to hold my hand.
Back at home they were all trying in vain
To find the sounds you were already playing
Faces in the ashes looking back
Rise through the smoke
Where are you, you left the party too soon.

You talked to your mountain (wonderful, beautiful)
You saw beyond the wall (wonderful, beautiful)
You painted night and your words became light
You taught us.

We all are part of that river that inhabits heart and mind.
And now we can have you forever
‘cause a good friend is so hard to find.

You talked to your mountain (wonderful, beautiful)
You saw beyond the wall (wonderful, beautiful)
You painted night and your words became light
You touched us, you touched us
You touch us now.

The story behind "Laura and John"
Laura Nyro’s music came into my life in 1968 when a college radio DJ friend gave me a promotional copy of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. I was a pianist/singer in the pop and classical world with my own harmony groups and only a teenager, but singing her music made me feel like a worldly, sexy, sad, joyful woman. I couldn’t wait to play that record every day after school. I wore it out!
The album had with it a scented lyric sheet which I, regrettably have since lost. I will always remember that perfumed ink as I was transported by her ethereal lyrics and celestial voice. I had never heard anyone or any music like hers before and truthfully, since. And oh, those harmonies....heavenly! She was one of a kind and sadly left us too soon.
Shortly after, I was turned onto John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner and their music moved and inspired me. I later found out that they were also some of Laura's favorite and influential musicians. A few years ago I was inspired to write a song to thank both of them. “Laura and John” is an homage to her and John Coltrane, two of the greatest and most creative musicians of our time.
No one ever wrote, sang, or performed like Laura Nyro and even though she is gone she still touches us now.

I found three wonderful musicians who shared my enthusiasm and commitment to Laura’s music. The requests of many of Laura’s fans at our live shows confirmed the making of this CD. Without losing the integrity of her songs we began a unique musical adventure. We hope you are as touched as we are by her music and enjoy our renditions



 

 

Philllip Bennett  Bennett

Grounded in Nyro's "brown earth" yet fresh and new
This is an absolute gem of an album. Christine and her group are steeped in Laura's work as she performed it both on recordings and in her electrifing concerts, two of which I was privileged to attend. The original power and freshness of the work shines through yet with the superb sophisticated jazz shadings of this highly accomplished group. For those of us who were captivated more by Laura's own renditions than by the covers which most of the public knew her by, this CD captures the vibrancy of her work. Christine and her group have drunk deeply from the well of Nyro' creative power, making their own unique synthesis. I think Laura would be very proud and I hope this recording gives new exposure to her work and to the marvelous group which have co-created something truly extraordinary.
..

Philllip Bennett

A stunning work!
This is a stunning CD--not a "tribute" album but a piece of original work which stays close to Nyro's canon while adding the unique richness of a seasoned jazz ensemble. Spero's voice and piano are similar to Laura's but with her own unique sound. The choice of songs is great, including Christine's moving tribute to John Coltrane and Nyro. Using "You Don't Love Me When I Cry" as the last song sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes. The words, "I don't want to say goodbye, have to say goodbye" take on a powerful, eerie new meaning. But in this gem of an album we don't say goodbye to Laura; we say hello again. I am sure Laura would approve.

 


Mike Cinelli

BRAVO
BRAVO! BRAVISSIMO! FANTASTIC ALBUM! Christine brings her unique style to an iconic list of some of Laura
Nyro’s most well recognized songs. Great vocal tracks and backgrounds blend smoothly with the Spero’s signature Brazilian jazz style on the more lively tracks. Ms. Spero can also hold her own with the best of the torch singers when she sings Billy's Blues, Emmie and You Don't Love Me When I Cry. Christine’s piano work is shear perfection with Elliot's sax complimenting her keyboard. She truly has captured Laura’s spirit and her interpretation of Ms. Nyro’s work gives the songs a new life and depth. All the tracks were beautifully interpreted in your own distinct style. I know that Laura would be proud of what she did with her songs and is smiling down upon her.

Jeffrey Lutzker

A winner!!
If you like Laura Nyro you will love "Spero Plays Nyro." The Christine Spero Group faithfully reproduces some of the best songs ever written while applying their unique siganature on each track. Christine Spero is a very talanted vocalist and pianist, who reflects her artistry and passion on each of these tracks. Drummer Peter O'Brien and bassist Scott Petito create a rythm section that keeps the tracks driving and steady but never imposing. Saxaphonis/percussionist, Eliot Spero, adds excelent sax solos and multiple percussion accents. While true to the original Laura Nyro recordings, the Group adds their unique touches to each track, particularly"And when I Die", "Money", and "Stoned Soul Picnic", where a Brazilian infused instrumental "Picnic" is added to the end of the track. The performances and production are first class. The Christine Spero Group is wonderful to see live so if you get the chance to see them - please do it.

Jan Nigro

From Laura Nyro's brother. Christine is keeping Laura's flame burning strong!
“Laura’s music is in fine hands with Christine Spero who is a terrific musician. She can play and sing Laura’s songs like few others. She knows this music inside out, and rises to the challenge on each song singing with expressiveness and power. At times her voice sounds like she could be Laura’s twin sister! It's such challenging music to sing, and she does it so beautifully.
I don't think I've ever heard anyone who's voice naturally sounds as much like Laura's as Christine's does (although it is certainly distinguished in it's own way). I also thoroughly enjoyed Christine's original song, "Laura and John". The arrangements are true to Laura’s originals but with some sweet creative touches as well. The band members are all pros and Christine can really play that piano! Laura’s fans should really enjoy this recording. Christine is a very talented woman, and I'm so glad she did such a beautiful job with my sister's music." Jan Nigro - Brother of Laura Nyro

Craig Cureau

A tribute to "a cameo"..." the unstudied sea"
Beautiful renditions of classic Nyro tunes, exquisitely arranged and produced, running the breadth and depth of Laura's emotions. From Christine's earthy version of "Broken Rainbow" to the mean streets of "Blackpatch"; the swagger of "Sweet Blindness" to the lament of "You Don't Love me When I Cry"; the inescapable presence of "Eli" to the innocence of "Emmie", the natural snow,; from the Barrio's frolicking "Stoned Soul Picnic" to the subtle and exotic room "Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp", The Christine Spero Group has gracefully removed the pearl (Laura) from the oyster and gently places it into Coltrane's treasure box.

David Thomas

A must have album for Laura Nyro fans, plus fans-to-be
I've had this cd for several weeks and have been pondering how to approach a concise review and do it justice. The short version is I love it! I have listened to Laura's albums so many times over the year that they are each seared into my brain. Christine Spero maintains many of the original vibes of the varied selections, favorite harmonies and chord progressions, but expands on them so that the sound is very fresh. When listening to Laura in concert or on record, I preferred her solo piano accompaniment, as her occasional back up combo rarely added to her music, in my opinion. For this new album, Ms Spero's excellent Group adds much to the songs. I love her versions of Eli's Coming and Emmie, as I had hoped, but was very pleasantly surprised by her original song "Laura and John", a tribute to Laura and John Coltrane, which blends in well with Laura's songs. Finally, she ends with a very powerful version of "You Don't Love Me When I Cry", which all of you must hear!

 

Amazon Reviews:

 Laura Nyro fans (and newcomers to her music) will love this album!

 By DavidSF on March 14, 2015

Format: Audio CD

I've had this cd for several weeks and have been pondering how to approach a concise review and do it justice. The short version is I love it! I have listened to Laura's albums so many times over the years that they are each seared into my brain. Christine Spero maintains many of the original vibes of the varied selections, favorite harmonies and chord progressions, but expands on them so that the sound is very fresh. When listening to Laura in concert or on record, I preferred her solo piano accompaniment, as her occasional back up combo rarely added to her music, in my opinion. For this new album, Ms Spero's excellent Group adds much to the songs. I love her versions of Eli's Coming and Emmie, as I had hoped, but was very pleasantly surprised by her original song "Laura and John", a tribute to Laura and John Coltrane, which blends in well with Laura's songs. Finally, she ends with a very powerful version of "You Don't Love Me When I Cry", which all of you must hear!

 

Spero Plays Nyro to the MAX

 By Bobby Bones on February 19, 2015

Format: Audio CD

I'm a huge fan of Christine's , a talented & genuine person. This record is just simply a labor of love.Some of the arrangements you may have heard done by Laura BUT there are turns & subtle twist in the harmonics & vocals & that's the secret to this great record. This stuff is so personal you cant get away with murder with Nyro music its real or not, Christine is the real deal staying true to the music, its just flat out religious. All the members of the band are right there with her. The new song Laura And John is a prayer, this is Christine in the raw showing whats shes really made of. Thank You Christine Love your record!

 

Just wonderful!

 By Charles Joffe-Halpern on March 17, 2015

Format: Audio CD

This is a beautiful tribute and more. There is an obvious love and respect for Laura Nyro and the integrity of her original work is kept in place but, Chrtistine, Elliot, and the wonderful ensemble have also brought her music into the present. I will listen to this album over and over again, Christine's voice and piano playing are both touching and joyful. Bravo to the Christine Spero Group - and thank you!

 

 


                                                              

New CD Release

"Spero Plays Nyro"

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"Spero Plays Nyro"

New CD Now Available ! 

"Spero Plays Nyro" A celebration of the music of Laura Nyro. This new project has been bringing a lot of joy to Laura's and our fans. 

Jazziz Promo