Thrilled and humbled by this this great review!

Spero Plays Nyro

By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

When one considers “The Great American Songbook,” one typically thinks about a loosely defined canon of enduring songs written between the 1920s and 1950s by such American composers as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and others, for the theater, Hollywood, and beyond.

But are there any American songwriters whose work is worthy of being considered a part of the Great American Songbook since the 1950s?

For our money, the answer is yes.

Given it’s 2017, we feel enough time has elapsed to begin to consider the enduring contributions of composers of one of greatest decades of popular music: The 1960s.

As such, in the 1960s, we find songwriters like Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Jim Webb, and more who enriched the canon of outstanding American music.

But unlike in decades prior, in the 196os, we begin to see the rise of great female songstresses, that among them Carole King and Joni Mitchell.

Chatting with talented singer/songwriter/pianist Christine Spero before her afternoon March 5, 2017 performance at the Fanwood Public Library in Fanwood, NJ, we discover that we’re in agreement regarding our belief that it’s time to expand the Great American Songbook to include the best creators of music from the 1960s.

Some of these artists are still etched into the consciousness of the American listening public.

For example, Brian Wilson’s music is consistently heard live around the world in concert by the Brian Wilson Band and The Beach Boys, not to mention in recent Hollywood films like Love & Mercy.

Moreover, Carole King’s songs are heard by thousands each week on the Great White Way in the hit musical, Beautiful, and by millions on the small screen in recent years on prominent award shows including the The Kennedy Center Honors.

Sadly, however, we also have to agree with Christine regarding the fate of one of the greatest American songwriters of the 1960s — Lauro Nyro. Except for a small but devoted following, Nyro’s brilliant melodies, harmonies, and lyrics have been nearly forgotten by the general listening public.

Bemoans Christine, “I wish more young people could hear this kind of music” — where “lyrics counted” and “sophisticated music” held sway. Regrettably, she laments, “Laura’s music has nearly faded into obscurity.”

That said, there are a few contemporary artists who are doing their part to “keep the flame alive” for Nyro’s music.

Nearly a decade after performing in Diane Paulus’ outstanding Off-Broadway Nyro-inspired musical, Eli’s Comin’, in 2007, Broadway singer/actress Judy Kuhn released her tribute to Laura’s music — Serious Playground: The Songs of Laura Nyro.

More recently, composer/pianist/arranger Billy Childs recruited the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Wayne Shorter, Chris Botti, Rickie Lee Jones, Alison Krauss, and more to create his 2014 Laura Nyro tribute: Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro.

Contemporary million-selling recording artist Sara Bareilles gave a heartfelt performance of “Stoney End” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio during the Hall’s 2012 induction ceremony for Laura Nyro.

In addition, other current artists — notably Melissa Hammans with her Laura Nyro/Carole King/Joni Mitchell Back to the Garden show, Kate Ferber with her One Child Born tribute, and Christine Spero with her Spero Plays Nyro live concert performances and CD — come to mind.

Praise for Christine Spero’s interpretation of the Laura Nyro songbook comes from such highly-regarded musicians as The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, The Young Rascals’ Felix Cavaliere, and Blood, Sweat and Tears’ Steve Katz.

Another proponent of Spero’s tribute artistry is Laura Nyro’s own brother, Jan Nigro, who asserts that Spero “can play and sing Laura’s songs like few others,” going on to add, “It’s such challenging music to sing, and she does it so beautifully.”

Christine Spero, 64, was born in Queens, NY, into a family of musicians. Both her grandmother and great-aunt were classical, ragtime, and silent movie pianists.

At the age of 10, she moved to Long Island. As a teenager, she was tapped to record at New York’s RCA Studios by producer Neil Sedaka to lay down tracks with her group at the time, 7th House. The group’s first 45 rpm single, “Ode To Freedom,” was written by Christine and featured a B-side, “River Queen,” written by Sedaka himself.

Moving from New York to San Francisco, Spero continued to study music and was influenced by numerous classical and jazz musicians, among them the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.

Christine now lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she continues to write, record, and perform with her band, The Christine Spero Group, an ensemble which includes her brother-in-law, saxophonist, percussionist, and music producer Elliot Spero.

And here at the Fanwood Public Library, Christine is here with Elliot to present a duo version of her live concert tribute to Laura Nyro, Spero Plays Nyro.

In this relaxed atmosphere, among the book racks and library tables, Spero opens her afternoon concert with “Buy and Sell” accompanying her clear voice on electric keyboard, deftly handling the complexity of Nyro’s innovative melodies, harmonies, and lyrics singing, “Pass the time and dry the tears/On a street called buy and sell.”

Accompanying Christine this afternoon is Elliot, 57 — an expert sax player originally from Queens, NY — doing double duty today on various wooden flutes and percussion instruments including cymbals, chimes, conga drums, and a djembe, a West African goblet drum — oftentimes playing multiple instruments simultaneously!

Information about Laura Nyro’s songs also constitutes a large part of the Spero Plays Nyro experience.

For instance, explaining how Laura “was full of imagery,” Spero provides a bit of foreshadowing to her listeners, telling them how easy it is to “picture the city” in works like her next piece, “New York Tendeberry.” An extremely difficult song to perform due to its unusual melody and chord changes, Spero makes the piece her own as she conjures up visualizations in her listener’s minds with such poetic Nyro lyrics as: “Rugs and drapes and drugs/And capes/Sweet kids in hunger slums/Firecrackers break/And they cross/And they dust/And they skate/And the night comes.”

Revealing to the audience, “I didn’t know Laura, but I did get to see her perform,” Spero also provides her listeners with numerous intruiging stories about Laura’s life.

One story centers on a 16-year-old Laura who sells the rights to one of her songs to folk icons, Peter, Paul and Mary. That composition, “And When I Die,” ultimately becomes a #2 hit on the Billboard charts for the teenage songwriter by the jazz/rock and pop group, Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Playing a “more mellow version” of the tune which Laura Nyro herself played at New York’s Bottom Line, listeners at the Fanwood Library are treated to a toe-tapping reggae/funk influenced rendition of “And When I Die.” The repeated tag line of “one child born” at the end reminds some long-term Nyro afficiandos — the “Nyrotics,” as Elliot jokingly calls them — that when Laura died in 1997 at the age of 49, she really did leave the world with one child born: a son.

Spero reminds the older baby boomers who make up the majority of the audience today that, during one week in the 1960s, Laura had three hits on the Billboard Top 10: “Eli’s Comin’” by Three Dog Night, and two songs recorded by The Fifth Dimension — “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Sweet Blindness.” At this point, Christine and Elliot launch into a rollicking version of “Sweet Blindness,” Spero’s voice perfectly inhabiting the soulful world of Nyro’s music and lyrics, the audience clearly enjoying the performance as much as the duo enjoys giving it.

Before moving on to her next piece, Spero provides the audience with more interesting tidbits about Nyro, telling them, for example, that if ever Laura was asked to autograph her debut album, More Than a New Discovery, before signing, she would always cross out the word “New” in the title.

In talking about Nyro’s creativity and sense of drama, she also references singer Bette Midler who once said, “Laura could take a trip to the grocery store and make it sound like she had taken a trip to the Kasbah.”

Here, Spero goes on to perform another very challenging Nyro composition, “Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp.” Opening with a moody Asian-influenced soundscape that morphs into a dynamic piano chord progression, Spero’s wistful vocal is accompanied by Elliot’s tasty percussion and wind flourishes.

Ending with a jazz improvisation, the members of this gifted duo flex their instrumental muscle, impressing the audience with a heartfelt and passionate in-the-moment performance.

Reminding the audience that “Upstairs By a Chinese Lamp” comes from Laura’s album, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, a record which was produced by The Young Rascals’ Felix Cavaliere, Spero starts to play a few bars of the Cavaliere penned Rascals song, “Groovin’.” The moment she stops, however, listeners in the audience sigh and Spero wonders aloud if it would be appropriate to perform the entire piece, given — as the lyrics suggest — we’re all here in the library “groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon.” Not surprisingly, the audience wholeheartedly agrees and ultimately finds themselves bopping along to Spero’s breezy performance of this classic 1960’s Rascals’ hit.

Moving on to a Nyro composition which Spero says, “The Fifth Dimension thought would be a hit, but wasn’t,” she performs a spirited version of “Black Patch.” Elliot provides the snappy rhythm to propel the song ever forward, Spero’s joyful voice singing out about “Happiness on the uptown side/Of my party in the morning tide.”

On one of many highlights of this afternoon’s performance, audience members groove to the music in their seats as Spero channels the spirit of Laura Nyro on a soulful version of “Eli’s Comin’.” Opening with a mysterious out-of-tempo intro, the song soon shifts into high gear, Spero soulfully and intensely warning, “Eli’s comin’, hide your heart, girl!”

Moving on to a lesser known piece which Laura composed for a film on the forced displacement of Navajo tribe members, the audience is taken on a musical journey with “Broken Rainbow,” Elliot impressing the audience as he skillfully plays both wind and percussion instruments simultaneously.

Following heartfelt applause, Christine reveals to the crowd how she was originally introduced to the music of Laura Nyro.

At the age of 16, while working at her neighborhood King Kullen market, Spero reveals she was given a promotional copy of Nyro’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession LPby a co-worker who also spun records for a local college radio station. Holding up the album jacket, the audience laughs when Christine goes on to joke that, nowadays, the record probably smells more like her attic than “the original lavender scented lyric sheet” which initially came packaged inside the record album jacket.

Moving on to yet another highlight of the afternoon’s performance, Spero plays one of her own original compositions — one she dedicated to both Laura Nyro and jazz great John Coltrane. Entitled “Laura and John,” Spero gives a lively yet emotional performance which tugs at the audience’s heartstrings upon singing lyrics like, “You left the party way too soon.”

Spero also tells an intriguing story about a time in 1967 when Laura played the Monterey Pop Festival. During her performance at this event — the very first large music festival, with a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands — Laura thought that listeners were booing her when, in fact, they were chanting “beautiful.” Unfortunately, according to Spero, the experience scarred Laura and, as a result, Nyro decided against performing at the next big music festival which took place two years later in upstate New York — Woodstock.

Performing a tune which Spero calls “heavy duty stuff,” she goes on to give a heart-wrenching performance of the song Nyro did at Monterey entitled, “Poverty Train,” accompanied by Elliot on winds and percussion.

Next up is the title track from the Nyro album, Smile, an “avant garde” piece which ends with a spacey instrumental jam called “Mars.”

Moving on to a Motown tune from an album which Laura recorded in 1971 with Patti LaBelle’s group, Labelle, Spero performs “The Bells,” a song initially recorded by The Originals. Then, she deftly segues into a finger-snapping rendition of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ hit “Jimmy Mack,” the audience spontaneously snapping and clapping along.

After an ebullient version of Nyro’s “Lucky,” Spero performs a number which she reveals was “Laura’s highest-charting single as a performer,” a cover version of Carole King’s “Up On the Roof,” which managed to break the Top 100 in 1970.

This is followed by “Once It Was Alright Now,” a song which Spero describes as having a “constantly-changing feel” — a hallmark of Nyro’s innovative compositional style. And next up is a wonderful Latin-influenced rendition of “Stoned Soul Picnic,” a Nyro gem on which the “There’ll be trains of trust, trains of golden dust” bridge features some of the most brilliant melodic/harmonic writing in pop music history.

After a lively version of “Wedding Bell Blues,” Spero concludes this afternoon’s performance with a number she says is as “appropriate for the times today” as it was when Nyro originally wrote it in 1968, “Save the Country.” Connecting with the audience on lyrics such as “We could build the dream with love, I know/We could build the dream with love,” Spero receives a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of her hits were performed by other artists, in the 1960s, Laura Nyro made herself a creative force in American popular music. As with the case of Bob Dylan — who always had something important to say, even if one didn’t especially like the way he was singing it — some listeners had a difficult time listening to Laura sing her own catalog of songs, however, finding her voice less refined than other more polished entertainers.

But many of those who’ve made it a point to go on and listen to her various recordings have come to find a performer who grew to become one of the most soulful singers in music history, particularly during her later years when her voice mellowed and became more resonant and controlled.

So that’s pretty much the story with respect to Laura Nyro and the musical element we commonly refer to as “timbre,” or tone color.

But what about the talents of Laura Nyro with respect to the six remaining elements of music?

In terms of “melody,” “harmony,” “rhythm,” “form,” “texture,” and “dynamics,” in our opinion, Laura Nyro ought to be considered among the elite of 1960’s era songwriters.

And what about her talents as a lyricist?

A half-century following its creation, her ingenious poetic imagery still has the ability to stir souls.

Thus, our response?

Case closed.

Not every composer can write music that can make a listener experience an emotional lump in the throat by virtue of its melodic/harmonic brilliance or heartfelt lyrics.

But Laura Nyro’s music can.

Especially when Spero Plays Nyro.

For more on Christine Spero — notably information about upcoming performances including a Spero Plays Nyro duo performance at the NJ Botanical Gardens in Ringwood, NJ on April 22 at 2pm; a Spero Plays Nyro duo performance at The Springfield Public Library in Springfield, NJ on May 21 at 2pm; and a live performance of the entire Christine Spero Group at the NJ Botanical Gardens in Ringwood, NJ on July 21 at 6:30pm— please go to www.christinesperogroup.com. For more on the life and music of Laura Nyro, please go to www.lauranyro.com

CD REVIEW: Christine Spero - Spero Plays Nyro 
By Dan Cohen - 01/30/2016 - 09:20 AM EST

Artist: Christine Spero
Album: Spero Plays Nyro
Website: http://www.christinesperogroup.com/
Genre: Blues/Jazz
Sounds Like: Joni Mitchell, early Billy Joel
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Best Songs: And When I Die, Eli's Coming, Laura and John
CD Review: The Christine Spero Group does not suffer from lack of fire. Tribute albums can sometimes carry a whiff of the museum, or perhaps mausoleum-- dutiful recreations of past masters, but minus the fire, the passion. But with Spero it's quite the opposite. Her latest effort, Spero Plays Nyro-- a tribute to the late, great songwriter Laura Nyro-- is a labor of love, yes, but also of skill and imagination and fire-- a beautiful, surprising, gorgeously arranged and passionately played record with inventive takes on many of Nyro's familiar tunes as well as lively versions of some of the more obscure ones. 

I'm sorry to say I was not all that familiar with Laura Nyro before this record came across my desk. Her music seemed to be strictly the province of shy girls with mousy brown hair, listening in the privacy of their bedrooms. Well, she certainly has that quality, and that audience, but her music deserves and rewards a deeper listen. Nyro's tunes are constantly churning and changing in unexpected ways, yet within carefully crafted song structures. She manages to make pop songs that cry and sing, that explore worlds, that 'contain multitudes', to borrow Walt Whitman's coinage. She's a bit like Billy Joel, or Joni Mitchell in her Court and Spark, big band period, but quirkier, more exploratory. For me, to be honest, her compositions call to mind no one more than Franz Schubert, the classical Austrian composer who was also able, like Nyro, to tap into some bottomless well of melody, creating songs that meander but somehow make sense, that feel complete but rarely repeat themselves, that are full of surprising harmonic choices and abrupt shifts in tempo and mood that somehow feel just right, just what was needed. It's a rare quality. Most songwriters, even the good ones, find a melody and stick to it, stick to a familiar structure, for our sake as much as theirs. Humans like repetition in their music. They respond to it. They dance to it. Rare is the writer who can write a song that flows like a river and carries us along through many landscapes, soundscapes, and moods. Laura Nyro is one of those. 

And rarely, too, is a performer as well matched to a project. Spero shares with Nyro a fine voice, a bit warmer and huskier than the original, and a wonderful fluidity at the piano. Her arrangements are fabulous, close to the originals in some cases and wildly different in others. She does a sly, slow-funk version of 'And When I Die', perhaps Nyro's most recognizable tune, that gives the song a whole new spin, far from the energetic two-step of the original, and completely different from Blood Sweat and Tears' bombastic yet wonderful version that first brought the song to our attention. She also tucks in a few finely wrought originals like Laura and John, a tribute to her favorite musicians. The identity of Laura is self-evident, but the John I had assumed would be John Lennon, influencer of untold millions of songwriters. But no, her muse is that other titan of musical invention, John Coltrane. Laura and John is on the mellower side of Coltrane's rep, would fit right in on the classic album he made with singer Johnny Hartman. You can also hear a bit of his influence in the fine sax-playing of Elliot Spero, especially on tracks like Money and Billy's Blues. 

Her whole band is exceptional. The rhythm section is smoking hot, Scott Petito's bass clean and clear and Pete O'Brien's drums finding a deep, warm, relaxed pocket reminiscent of Jim Keltner or Russ Kunkel, the great LA drummers of the 70s who backed Carole King and, yes, Joni Mitchell. The horns and especially the sax playing is stellar throughout. She's even got back-up singers, who shine on Emmie and others. 
Take a ride with Nyro, courtesy of the Christine Spero Group, and find the shy girl with the mousy brown hair that, as it turns out, resides in all of us. 


 

Spero Plays Nyro – A Review by James Farmingdale

Review From Live Show at The Tilles Center LIU Post Hillwood Recital Hall

was very fortunate to have attended, on March 26, 2016, a performance, at LIU Post – Long Island University’s Hillwood Commons Recital Hall, of Spero Plays Nyro, this being the wonderful singer/pianist Christine Spero and her band performing songs by the late, much-lamented Laura Nyro, who died in 1997 at the absurdly young age of 49.

Growing up in the late 1960s on Long Island and listening to the AM radio of the day, I had two favorite songwriters, Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro. I’ve been able to see Webb in performance several times and even met him in person, but never had the chance to see Ms. Nyro in concert. As consolation prizes go, Ms. Spero’s Nyro show was quite a nice one and probably as close as I’ll get to the original.

Laura Nyro

Spero presented a lovely mix of Nyro’s better-known songs (having gotten that way courtesy of such performers as The Fifth Dimension, Blood, Sweat and Tears and Three Dog Night), lesser-known gems, the songwriter’s own recordings that charted, and even an original Spero composition, Laura and John, about Nyro’s admiration for John Coltrane.

These were all performed by Spero and her band with the wonderful longing, drive and soul that characterized Nyro’s recordings. The performances were never straight-up, note-for-note recreations, but were in fact expansions of the songs inherent jazz, blues, gospel and R&B elements. In that sense, this was Nyro re-interpreted, something I suspect she may have appreciated.

The fine band was bassist Scott Petito, drummer Peter O’Brien and saxophonist/ percussionist Elliot Spero. They were solid throughout, and truly seemed to enjoy the stretching of the jazz elements in a number of the tunes that gave them solos, in which Elliot Spero was especially effective on both tenor and soprano sax. Being a lapsed (and not very good to begin with) bassist, I kept hoping the excellent Petito would take an extended solo, but alas. The steady and creative O’Brien has wonderful dynamic control.

My only wish for future performances of Spero Plays Nyro would be that Ms. Spero would speak more about Nyro herself, and the circumstances under which the songs were written. That aside, this is a marvelous, spirited show that brings the great Laura Nyro back to life as much as can be reasonably hoped for.

The Christine Spero Group: Spero Plays Nyro (2015)

By Published: May 8, 2015



The Christine Spero Group: Spero Plays Nyro

Pianist and singer Christine Spero and her group perform the music of singer and songwriter Laura Nyro on Spero Plays Nyro, a stellar tribute to one of the most iconic composers of the 20th century best known for the way she cross-bred the jazz, R&B, Pop and blues genres. Spero and band reprise some of Nyro's most familiar compositions recorded by such groups as Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Fifth Dimension, Three Dog Night and even, Maynard Ferguson. Perhaps a project long in the making as Nyro's music, particularly Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Sony Music, 1968), served as an inspiration which left a lasting impression on the young Spero.

That definitive Nyro album was so influential that Spero chose to include the soft balladic "Emmie" and the pop-styled "Sweet Blindness"—two Nyro originals from that recording—provided here with modern arrangements that feature brother Elliot on a splendid tenor saxophone moment. First recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and made popular by the Rock/fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, Spero voices a fusion-like rendition of the classic "And When I Die," showcasing the electric guitar of Scott Petito, a little percussion from Elliot and strong steady beats from drummer Peter O' Brien. One of Nyro's most important social songs of her era was "Broken Rainbow," penned for the unjust relocation of the Navajo Indians and beautifully delivered here by the singer.

The songstress and band are at their best on the lively upbeat and hard-driving "Money," where Spero reaches, the saxophone howls and supporting cast makes this one a highlight of the disc. Recorded by Three Dog Night and jazz icon Maynard Ferguson, the classic "Eli's Comin'" takes a new twist here as the arrangement drives the melody in a slightly new direction that works well here taking nothing away from its original texture. The Saxophonist has some of his best solo moments on the warm and delicate "Billy's Blues" as sister Christine delivers the lyrics as humbly as Nyro must have.

The harmonious and powerful "Laura and John," is actually a Spero original penned in homage to both Nyro and John Coltrane, lays down an emotional musical message. "Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp" is the albums most ambitious track at over seven-minutes long, reveals a light almost down-tempo structure featuring the high-pitched vocals of the singer with Elliot featured on both the soprano saxophone and flute.

The Fifth Dimension Pop group recorded several of Nyro's tunes including the 1969 "Wedding Bell Blues" and the 1968 hit "Stone Soul Picnic," provided here in stylish fashion on clearly, one of the best renditions of the song ever made. When one thinks the song is over, it seems to continue (as a separate track) but this time, closing on a furious Latin-styled romp. Armed with loads of talent, Christine Spero and her group do more than justice to Laura Nyro's music, on Spero Plays Nyro, each song is reimagined with creative arrangements making this album an enchanting musical tribute.

Track Listing: Blackpatch; And When I Die; Broken Rainbow; Money; Eli's Comin'; Billy's Blues; Laura and John; Emmie; Sweet Blindness; Black Swallow; Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp; Stoned Soul Picnic; The Picnic; You Don't Love Me When I Cry.

Personnel: Christine Spero: vocals, acoustic and electric piano; synthesizer; Elliot Spero: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, conga, percussion, flutes; Scott Petito: bass, guitar; Peter O' Brien: drums.

 

 

CD Review: Christine Spero's "Spero Plays Nyro" 

By
 cd-christine-spero-group.jpg

Why and how dare she devote an entire album to songs by Laura Nyro when we can just listen to the originals on Spotify? I'll tell you why. Because Christine Spero fully inhabits these songs, uncovers hidden nuances, and with her stunning ensemble—including drummer Peter O'Brien, bassist Scott Petito, saxophonist Elliot Spero, and Christine's own magic hands on the ivories—she makes you hear these terrific old songs in new ways. And frankly, Nyro—one of the great post-Brill Building blue-eyed pop-soul songwriters—wasn't always her own best interpreter, but more a supplier of pop hits for artists ranging from Three Dog Night to Barbara Streisand to Blood, Sweat & Tears to the Fifth Dimension. (And, perhaps ironically, her own greatest hit recording was a cover of Carole King's "Up on the Roof.")

What you wind up with here are new renditions by a woman with a rich, jazzy voice in funky arrangements that sometimes sound like Steely Dan fronted by a woman covering Nyro. While Spero acknowledges the hitmaker side of Nyro with renditions of "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "And When I Die," she mostly eschews obvious hits like "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Stoney End" in favor of deeper catalog selections such as "Broken Rainbow" and "You Don't Love Me When I Cry." A welcome reminder of the greatness of a sometimes overlooked musical genius. ChristineSperoGroup.com.

 

SOUND ADVICE: The Christine Spero Group pays homage to Laura Nyro in new album

 

By David Malachowski, Daily Freeman

Posted: 04/30/15, 2:42 PM EDT

ARTIST: The Christine Spero Group    ALBUM: “Spero Plays Nyro”

Local light Christine Spero is a spectacular singer and pianist who lives in Hunter, and in this collection, “Spero Plays Nyro,” tackles a difficult subject — retelling the timeless songs of Laura Nyro — and she does it in an extraordinary way, and with verve.

They say don’t do a cover unless you can do it better, and in this case, she comes close, and often equals the original. The iconic cuts are done with respect and grace, and classics like “Stoned Soul Picnic” and “And When I Die” are given powerful readings. And revisiting Nyro’s riveting “Eli’s Coming” will make you rethink the much more emotionally tamer “Three Dog Night” take from 1969.

But it’s the deeper tracks, like the sultry “Billy’s Blues,” the haunting “You Don’t Love Me When I Cry” and “Emmie,” that really showcase Spero’s soaring voice, and way with a song.

The secret weapon here is saxophonist Elliot Spero, who also co-produced with brilliant bassist Scott Petito, aided an abetted by ace drummer Peter O’Brien.

Though the mission was daunting, Spero succeeds with her gorgeous, expressive voice, and the smarts to keep world-class musicians nearby. Fans of both Nyro and Spero will adore this record, a reminder of how well written songs used to be.

Visit http://www.christinesperogroup.com/

David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and freelance journalist.

 

Wonderful interview with Glenn Gamboa of Newsday on April 8th, concidentally the anniversary of Laura's passing in 1997. We will be playing her beautiful music with Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Blues Project as part of My Father's Place's Live Concert Series tomorrow, April 10th. Should be a moving experience with new friends and lovers of Laura's music. Thank you Laura for pouring your heart and soul out to us and leaving us with your spiritual music.

Review of August 10th Show at The Cafe Lena Saratoga NY
 
"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 splender perfectly matched by a band that is nothing short of breathtaking."

Don Wilcock
Freelance Writer
Senior Editor - The Audiophile Voice Magazine
Contributing writer - The Saratogian, Troy Record and Nippertown
Contributing Writer - The American Blues Scene
Contributing Editor - The Blues Magazine (formerly Blues Revue Magazine)
The Blues Foundation's Keeping The Blues Alive in Print Journalism Award

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The biggest hit of the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Laura Nyro was Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof.” Even though she wrote scores of hits for herself her music was also recorded by The 5th Dimension; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Three Dog Night.


Christine Spero also is a veteran songwriter who also may become better known for her renditions of — ironically — hits by Laura Nyro. “Spero Plays Nyro” is how she’s billing her Saturday night gig at Caffè Lena.

Spero said it’s more of a challenge doing a whole show aimed at someone else’s material. “What’s challenging to me is to keep the integrity of her music intact, and also put myself into it and have a quality to it that’s not just a karaoke machine, that it’s something new but not by affecting the music so you don’t even recognize it anymore. As far as loving it, there’s no problem there. I have been singing it because the songs are so beautiful. But giving it my own slant and also keeping true to her? That’s the challenge.”

Nyro wrote “Stoned Soul Picnic” and “Wedding Bell Blues” that charted for The 5th Dimension. “And When I Die” was a hit for both Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul & Mary. Three Dog Night scored on her “Eli’s Coming.”

Spero does these and some of Nyro’s more obscure songs, like “Captain for a Dark Morning” and “You Were the Main Drag.” One of Spero’s originals is “John and Laura,” about the first time she heard Nyro on record. “John” is John Coltrane, whom both musicians admire.

Spero’s first exposure to Nyro was on the latter’s second album “Eli & The Thirteenth Confession.” The album was given to Spero by a college deejay friend when she was 16. He often gave her free promotional LPs he got at the station.

“I said, ‘Sure, I’ll take ’em.’ Her picture was just mesmerizing on the cover. I put her on, and I fell to the floor practically. It blew my mind. It touched every emotion I had, and from that moment on, she was it for me, and it changed my life musically, I think. I went in a different direction than I would have gone had I not heard her.”

Spero and Nyro are as different as they are the same. Both admire jazz soul singer Nina Simone and jazz musicians Miles Davis and John Coltrane, but Spero’s original material tends more towards Latin salsa, and both her singing and piano playing are more organic and free form. She scats, Nyro didn’t.

“I’m more into improvising, and Laura never really improvised,” Spero said. “Her piano, I felt, was more of an accompaniment to her voice, and it did have intense chords, just different than anybody I’d ever heard before that.

“I love jazz and I love playing Latin stuff,” Spero said. “At the time I first listened to her, I was listening to a lot of Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. So that whole Latin thing entered my consciousness and, boy, it took me, too, and so when I was learning how to improvise — and I also play a lot of classical music — all that called in together. It came out in a different way than if I’d just been a singer/songwriter ’cause I love jamming"

Spero was a little concerned last year when she brought in a band she felt was “a little high powered for a folk club” like Lena’s. Her brother-in-law, Elliot Spero, plays tenor and soprano sax and the flute. Peter O’Brien on drums has worked with Edgar Winter and Orleans, and bass player Scott Petito is also a recording engineer who has worked on recordings by Chick Corea, James Taylor and Jack DeJohnette. When they added a salsa ending to “Stoned Soul Picnic, Spero said, “We hit the last chord, and somebody screamed out, ‘That’s a keeper,’ and these were all folk people!”

Don Wilcock
Freelance Writer
Senior Editor - The Audiophile Voice Magazine
Contributing writer - The Saratogian, Troy Record and Nippertown
Contributing Writer - The American Blues Scene 
Contributing Editor - The Blues Magazine (formerly Blues Revue Magazine)
The Blues Foundation's Keeping The Blues Alive in Print Journalism Award

Christine Spero Group pays tribute to Laura Nyro at Bearsville

 

For those of us who still carry a torch for the music of Laura Nyro, one of the most dynamic performers ever to carry a torch song (or write one), there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that, based on my admittedly limited sampling, the mention of her name nowadays will draw a blank look from most teens and 20-somethings - even ones with a good musical education and aspirations toward sophisticated tastes. They may grudgingly admit to having heard some of the cover versions of Nyro compositions that hit the Top 40 in the late '60s and early '70s and still persist on oldies stations ("And When I Die," "Blowin' Away," "Sweet Blindness," "Eli's Coming," "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Wedding Bell Blues," and "Stony End"); but by and large, they don't realize who wrote them.

The good news, however, is that Nyro's unmistakable influence can be perceived in the work of younger generations of musicians. It was displayed big-time in the piano attack - now fierce, now lyrical, swooping octaves like a pirate queen boarding her prize - of the avant-garde singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer when she performed last month at Bard. Jazz vocalists in particular keep the Nyro flame alive, and one of them is coming to the Bearsville Theater this Friday, May 17, to present an all-Laura-Nyro extravaganza. The package is called "Spero Plays Nyro," heralding a summer CD release of the same name, and the performers are called the Christine Spero Group.

The Tannersville-based ensemble currently consists of Christine Spero on vocals and keyboards, Elliot Spero on sax and percussion, Scott Petito on bass, and Peter O'Brien on drums, sometimes supplemented by a rhythm section that has lately included T. Xiques and Charlie Kniceley. The group tends to lead toward Brazilian and Latin Jazz, earning strong reviews for its 2007 release My Spanish Dream. "Flashes of Bebel Gilberto, Gloria Estefan, Laura Nyro, and Elaine Elias appear in her vocals, and she's a great scat singer - a dying art period. But it is her piano/keyboard artistry that stands out. Christine can flat-out play the ivories."

Christine Spero's song "He Wasn't Always That Way" took the top prize in the jazz category in the USA Songwriting Competition, and she cites Nyro as a major influence: "Christine has loved Laura's music from a young age when she was given Eli and the 13th Confession by a radio DJ friend," says her website bio. "She was inspired by Laura's music to be bold in writing, singing, and playing piano."

  Bold is certainly one word for it. Get a taste of the Christine Spero Group on YouTube, then come on out this Friday night to join in the homage to one of the greats of late-20th-century popular songwriting, who finally was admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last year. "Spero Plays Nyro: a celebration of Laura Nyro" starts at 9 pm on May 17th at the Bearsville Theatre, and the doors open at 8. 

Christine Spero, jazz category winner of the USA Songwriting Competition, is first, last and always a songwriter. Since her start in the music business as a teenager with legendary producer Don Kirschner, she has honed the sound of piano, percussion and, periodically, saxophone into a rich Latin groove with pop rhythms. The Group, consisting of bassist Scott Petito, drummer Peter O'Brien and saxophonist/ percussionist Eliot Spero, displays all of the attributes of experienced accompaniment accomplished only by years of experience in the jazz trade.

"My Spanish Dream," Spero's latest recording, is a Latin/pop/world/fusion collection that is a comprehensive exploration of her style, highlighting her instrumental, vocal and lyrical talents to the nth degree. Flashes of Bebel Gilberto, Gloria Estefan and Eliane Elias appear in her vocals and she's a great scat singer, a dying art. But it is her piano / keyboard artistry that stands out. Christine can flat out play the ivories.

Ebony and ivory: SummerSounds jazz at it's finest.

For so diminutive a city, Hartford presents a striking diversity of jazz. There is of course the Hartford Jazz Society, the Hartt School of Music and the legacy of Jackie McLean, a triumvirate of influences that engenders a deeply rooted “straight ahead” and legacy-driven jazz scene. However, the 2010 Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, which takes place July 16-18 in Bushnell Park and is free, is a truly modern work of programming. In as much as a jazz festival can ever be, the GHF is “for the people” of the region and its three days of new-Latin, R&B-jazz, smooth-groove or whatever you want to call it truly reflect the modern jazz-ish tastes of the local demographic.

The festival opens with the pan-Latin jazz sounds of pianist and vocalist Christine Spero. On record, Spero’s group is polished to a glaring shine that overemphasizes the exotic lyrics to tunes like “My Spanish Dream” and “Caribbean Nights.” Live, however, Spero’s group settles deeply into her driving montunos, responding with relaxed grooves peppered with the colors of percussion and her scat singing.

Date: 2008-01-20 " My Spanish Dream" is just that. This is a rich Brazilian/latin/World fusion that makes the "A" list from the very first track. Christine Spero has exceptional writing skills and a voice to match. Gloriously groovy arrangements full of wonderful textures, imagination, and musicality. Spero's song "He Wasn't Always That Way" won the jazz category of the USA songwriting Competition in 2004; and "Caribbean Nights", one my favourites on this album, was a finalist in 2002. Spero is brilliantly supported by Elliot Spero's sax & percussion with Mike Woinoski on bass and drummer Jody Sumber. Produced by Elliot Spero this second album clearly announces a new talent. Already headlining Festivals and performing with Blood Sweat & Tears and Charlie Daniels in 2007, The Christine Spero Group is set to go far. So let "The Festival" begin!! Helen Simons The JazzXpress Caravan 94.1FM Jazz Radio Gold Coast Queensland Australia

Catch Christine's music on www.smoothjazz.com Here's what they're saying about the new release, "My Spanish Dream" on October 15th, 2007: "Latin Jazz done right has a fluidity and passion that is unmistakably compelling. The Christine Spero Group's second release MY SPANISH DREAM indeed does it right, creating moving, exciting textures that glide effortlessly among the genres of Brazilian, Latin, world fusion, jazz and pop. Ms. Spero is a singer/pianist of immense talent with a voice that might remind you of Eliane Elias or Bebel Gilberto on the rich and warm "My Spanish Dream," Gloria Estefan on the exuberant "The Festival" and perhaps Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel on "I Remember." Her band consists of Elliot Spero on sax, bassist Mike Woinoski and drummer Jody Sumber. You'll find all of the music on this album to be organic, refreshing, soulful and exciting. From "Don't Say No," a mid-tempo bossa with a strong hook and delightful pop feel, to "Just So You Know," an expansively beautiful story-song that chronicles the Spero's son's cross-country bike trip to raise money for disabled children. This album also features two inventive instrumentals, namely "Raiisha," a progressive jazz-fusion piece featuring Elliot's inventive sax work and "Therapy," a solid Latin Jazz fusion track featuring some lively scatting. MY SPANISH DREAM from the New York State-based Christine Spero Group is an outstanding album that makes me want more and would totally motivate me to catch this group live at my first opportunity. What this album has going for it in spades is outstanding musicianship, positive energy, and compelling songs from the pen of Christine Spero. Highly recommended!" Scott O'Brien-Smoothjazz.com

Pianist and vocalist Christine Spero launches her new release of exciting Latin jazz grooves that blend Brazilian and pop rhythms producing an intoxicating and vibrant sound guaranteed to shake the shoulders and move the hips. "My Spanish Dream," delivers nine original songs with catchy melodies and rich harmonies that will have you hitting the re-play button often. Hailing from Tannersville, New York, Christine Spero has for years performed with her quartet and has one previous recording to her credit ("We Call It Music" 2002). On this recording she is joined by her core group consisting of Elliot Spero (tenor, soprano sax and percussions), Mike Woinoski (bass) and Jody Sumber (drums). Others appearing on the recording include Rich DeCrosta (trumpet) on "Therapy," husband Buck Spero (bass) and Curtis Watts (drums) on "Therapy", "The Festival" and "I remember." Starting off with the title track, Spero sets the tone with her lush vocals and piano chops on this airy and spacious number. The second cut, "Don't Say No," says yes all the way with a terrific percussive beat and appreciable scatting from the singer. The music only gets better with the incredible Latin rhythms of "Caribbean Nights," unquestionably the best composition here. Spero's vocals on this one is upstaged by her sizzling piano performance that continues to play over and over in one's brain sort of like when you have a tune you just cannot get out of your head. The tune "Just So You Know," is maybe the sole pop flavored number here. The Brazilian flavored "The Festival," rivals "Caribbean Nights," as one of the best scores here featuring perhaps the finest vocals and a nice run on the synthesizer from Christine. Elliot Spero takes center stage on the only instrumental piece "Raiisha," with an excellent journey on the sax. Except for a verse of wordless vocals, "Therapy," is largely another instrumental piece featuring an augmented cast. The album ends with another bossa-shaded number in "I Remember," showcasing Elliot's torrid sax solo and climaxing one heck of a session. Year: 2007 Label: Collective Works Artist Web: www.sonicbids.com/thechristinesperogroup www.myspace.com/christinesperogroup www.christinesperogroup.com

Review by Jonathan Widran Even before Christine Spero began recording with her dynamic quartet, she was earning numerous accolades for her melodic, emotionally powerful and soulful songwriting. In 2004, she won the Jazz Category in the USA Songwriting Competition for "He Wasn't Always That Way." She was also a finalist in the 2002 competition for "Caribbean Nights," a festive tropical celebration that typifies the joyful exotica that drives The Spanish Dream. Based on the compelling songwriting on the other richly rhythmic, soaring tracks, there are probably more certificates in her future with some of the richly rhythmic, soaring tracks on the group's second indie recording. Yet as strong and poetic as her writing is on tracks like the easy swinging, samba flavored title track, the jaunty, percussive "Don't Say No" and the haunting ballad "My Prayer," it's her joyful vocal performances (including some wordless passages) and lively piano chordings and improvisations (particularly on the expansive title track) that really bring the music to memorable life. Spero is the compelling multi-talented focal point throughout, but she's clearly having a great time trying to keep up with the relentless rhythm section of Mike Woinoski (bass) and Jody Sumber (drums). The project was produced by Elliot Spero, who does multiple duties on soprano and tenor saxes as well as percussion. Away from the quartet, Christine and Elliot Spero perform sometimes as a duo that mixes Brazilian and pop flavors a la Brasil 66. The big vocal sound of 60's flavored Sergio Mendes recordings shines though most of the tracks, but there's also some heavier jazz blowing beneath the breezes on tracks like the instrumental "Raiisha," a powerful duet by the Speros over the tight rhythm section.

Whether your thing is jazz, pop, or Brazilian/Latin grooves, Christine Spero’s My Spanish Dream will transport you to a loftier place. The leader, on vocals, piano, and synthesizer, is joined by Mike Woinoski on bass, Jody Sumber on drums, and Elliott Spero on sax, percussion, and synth. Opening with the lengthy title track, the singer yearns for a place of fond imagination, her heartfelt vocals snaking their way around a colorful, exotic arrangement that is both tight and spirited; highlighting the track is a compelling sax solo. Her overdubbed scatting illuminates the upbeat and utterly danceable “Don’t Say No,” a samba rhythm-based track that is a joy to listen to. The tempo is continuously zealous until the middle track, “A Prayer,” which is a somber, solo piano piece written for a 9/11 memorial performance. Just as it must have on that occasion, it will leave listeners teary-eyed. The pace quickens again with “The Festival,” an ardent invitation to a jubilant musical gala. “Raiisha,” an instrumental, features a demanding, weighty sax solo, and the revelry continues until the very last note of the ninth and final track. Pick this one up if you’re ready for some sublime musicianship with true heart and soul. Or catch the quartet live at Stella’s in Catskill on September 15; or at the Hunter Mountain Microbrew and Wine Fest on September 22. www.sonicbids.com/thechristinesperogroup.

Christine Spero: My Spanish Dream  Czékus Mihály Christine Spero svéd és amerikai zongorista nagyszülők leszármazottja, aki már gyermekkorában kapcsolatba került a zenével, olyannyira, hogy már 10 éves korában rögzítette néhány dalát az RCA lemezkiadó. Tanulmányait San Francisco-ban folytatja, ahol zenét tanul. Az elmúlt évek során számos zenekari formációval dolgozott együtt, első lemeze 2002-ben jelent meg „We Call It Music” címmel. A debütáló album sikere után a rajngóknak sokat kellett várniuk a kézzelfogható folytatásra, az új korong, a „My Spanish Dream” az idei évben került a zeneboltokba. A new york-i NRS stúdióban rögzített felvételeken Elliot Spero (szaxofon), Mike Woinoski (nagybőgő) és Jody Sumber (dob) működött közre. Az album rögtön a címadó szerzeménnyel indul. Ami ritmusos, egzotikus és hatását tekintve „a föld felett lebegtető”. Az utána következő felvételek újabb és újabb hangulati színeket tárnak a hallgató elé. A „Don’t Say No” nyomatékos és vadul örvénylő, a „Just So You Know”-t Winoski nagybőgő játéka teszi felejthetetlenné. A „Raiisha”-ban Spero szaxofon szólóján merenghetünk. A „Therapy” különleges térélménnyel ajándékozza meg a hallgatót. A szövegek, a zenét és a zenészek közötti harmóniát tekintve kijelenthető, hogy a „My Spanish Dream” egy rendkívül igényes alkotás. Megjelenés éve: 2007 Kiadó: szerzői kiadás Az előadó honlapja : www.christinesperogroup.com vagy www.sonicbids.com/thechristinesperogroup TRANSLATION: Christine Spero, descended from Swedish and American grandparents, came into contact with music in her childhood years, so much that RCA Record company recorded a few of her songs at 10 years of age. She continued her studies in San Francisco, where she studied music. Over the years, she has worked with numerous bands. Her first album, "We Call It Music", was released in 2002. Following the success of her debut album, fans had to wait a long time to get a hold of the followup. The new disc, "My Spanish Dream", made its way into record stores this year. Recorded in New York's NRS Studio, the recording features Elliot Spero (saxophone and percussion), Mike Woinoski (bass) and Jody Sumber (drums). The album lives up to the title right away, exhibiting a rhythmic, exotic, "floating above the earth" effect... The next couple of tracks open up newer and newer atmospheric moods for the listener. "Don't Say No" is a vigorous and wild whirl, while Woinoski's bass makes "Just So You Know" unforgettable. Spero's saxophone solo in "Raiisha" makes one shiver. "Therapy" offers the listener a unique spatial experience. The harmony found among the lyrics, music, and musicians make "My Spanish Dream" a work of exceptionally high quality. Year released: 2007 Record Label: Collective Works Media

"Spero's CD is Top Notch" Jazz, Latin and pop singer and pianist Christine Spero of Tannersville has a CD with her group that's quite impressive. Recorded at NRS in Catskill, by Scott Petito, it also features Elliot Spero on soprano and tenor, Mike Woinoski on bass and Jody Sumber on drums. The lush title track,"My Spanish Dream", quickly sets the tone. It's exotic and melodic and the ascending changes lift it skyward. Spero's piano solo here is superb, as is Spero's sax ride. "Don't Say No" is urgent and turbulent. The bossa "Caribbean Nights" swings and sways, while bassist Woinoski shines in "Just So You Know". The soothing "A Prayer" is a highlight, while Elliot Spero shines in "Raiisha", as he runs with a meaty sax solo. His harmonic sensibility and phrasing are a cut above. "Therapy" has wide open spaces and a Chuck Mangione vibe. "I Remember" is a vocal workout, as Spero spins around, flies upside down and still manages to land on her feet. The songwriting and musicianship here is top notch, and you can bet it's as good if not better in a live setting. That said, Spero and group are to appear at the Bearsville Theatre on Tinker Street on Thursday. (Woodstock-David Malachowski)

My Spanish Dream (Collective Works) Pianist-singer Christine Spero wrote all nine tracks on this album, and it’s immediately apparent why she’s done well in national songwriting competitions. The songs deftly combine Latin and Brazilian sounds with percussive, piano-centered jazz to exciting effect. (This probably would be a good time to mention the contributions of her excellent rhythm section, bassist Mike Woinoski and drummer Jody Sumber.) Spero’s voice is sleek and insinuating, whether she’s hewing to the complex rhythms or scatting. Her vocal arrangements are a pleasure in themselves: When she multitracks her vocals for a brief wordless passage in “My Spanish Dream,” or to back herself on the propulsive “The Festival,” the effect is shimmering. And more importantly for you purists out there, not distracting. What’s interesting about My Spanish Dream is that while the rhythms—and the array of percussion sounds provided by Elliot Spero—are primarily Latin-influenced, the melodies (and harmonies) are all over the place. Examples: The standouts “Caribbean Dream” and “The Festival” have a Latin flavor; the instrumental “Raiisha,” a showcase for Elliot’s tenor sax, is classic jazz fusion; and “Therapy” is somewhere in between. The aplomb with which Spero and company pull this off makes this music sound fresh. —Shawn Stone/Albany,NY

Ison TV/Radio in NewCastle, Australia(www.isonliveradio.com) has been playing, "We Call It Music" for five years. 

Radio: (for complete list visit website)
East Coast: WAMC NPR 90.3 FM- Albany, N.Y. WCVF;WAER-Syracuse; WGMC Jazz 90.1 FM- Rochester, New York;
XMRadio, Sirius Radio, "AcousticCafe"; WKZE;
WRHO,WVOF,Ct; WCVF-FM New York WRIP,NY;WDST,Woodstock;WPDH, Poughkeepsie; WHRW 90.5FM Binghamton,NY; WRTC and
WDIT-Hartford, Ct; WWUH Radio-W. Hartford Ct; WICN-Public Radio-Worcester,MA  WRHU-The Jazz Cafe,-Hempstead,NY; WRCU 90.1; WKCR,89.9-Columbia U.NY,NY; KUSP,Pacifica Radio-WPFW 89.3FM-Washington,DC; WOMR 92.1FM- MA;WPKN-Bridgeport,Ct; WMBR-Cambridge,MA;WBRS 100.1FM-Waltham,MA;WERSand WRBB-Boston,MA; WUML-Lowell, MA;WECS-Willimantic,CT;
WESU 88.1FM-Middletown,CT;WKDU 91.7FM-Phila,PA;WRCT 88.3FM-Pittsburgh,PA;WUSR 99.5FM-Scranton,PA; WMEB 91.9FM-Orono,ME;WMHB-Waterville,ME;WMPG-Portland,ME;WRIU-Kingston,RI;WRUV 90.1FM-Burlington,VT;WUMD 89.3-Dartmouth,MA;Lion Radio 90.7FM-University Park,PA; WOMR 92.1FM-Provincetown,MA; WMWM-Salem, MA;WRUW-FM-Ohio;WTCC-Springfield,MA; WPRB FM- Princeton, N.J.
WMPG-Maine

West Coast: Calif-KVMR Radio;
KXPT 97.1 Las Vegas,DMX-Los Angeles
KAOS 89.3fm Olympia Community Radio-Washington; KTSU-Houston,TX;
KRTU-San Antonio;
KYSJ-Coos Bay/Oregon
Santa Cruz,CA; KCLU, Thousand Oaks,CA.; WKRMEL,Carmel,CA ;KALX-Berkeley,CA;KCR-San Diego;KCSB FM-Santa Barabara,CA;KDVS-90.3FM Davis,CA;KSDS FM-San Diego,CA;KEWU 89.1FM-Cheney,WA;KPSU-Portland,OR; KBCS- Bellevue,WA

Southeast: WDNA 88.9 FM-Miami,Fla; Jazz Radio27.7-St Augustine,Fla;Little Rock, Arkansas;WDCE-Richmond,VA;BZOO Homegrown Radio-Jackson,KY;
Georgia- WHCJ 90.3; KSU Owl Radio
KASU-FM Arkansas;  FBCC Radio Louisiana; WGRV-Melbourne,Fla

Midwest: WDCB-Public Radio,IL; KCLU,  KBEM Jazz 88, Minneapolis,MN; KBCS Radio; KCCK 88.3-Cedar Rapids,IA; KABF, 88.1 WYCE-Grand Rapids,MI;  KUMD 103.3-Duluth,MN; WDBX-Carbondale,IL; WDCB Radio 90.9 FM, IL; WSUM-Madison,WI;Free Radio Jackson-Jackson,MI; ASID-Hi Power Radio Michigan
Nebraska-NET Radio; WWSP 89.9/90 FM Wiscon.
Ohio- WVXU-FM; WCBE FM

International:
Europe:
Poland: JAZZ RADIO FM; Radio Merkury
Turkey:Radyo SDU
Macedonia: 94.1 FM RADIO 2
The Netherlands: Radio Stanavste; Radio RICK FM Uithoorn; BRTO Radio; Dutch Coast Radio; 105.4FM/Alphen Stadt, 103.4 Cable, Jazz and Blues Tour;  Lokale Omroep Hoogeveen
Belgium: Radio TQV
Italy: Animajazz, Radio Incontro; Radio Gold Popular Network
France: Radio G-Angers;Radio Campus; VIRUS DE BLUES; Radio Rennes; Radio Boomerang
Spain: Radio Vilafant; RÀDIO DESPÍ; Radio Contadero;
Luxembourg- Radio ARA and Radio lu
Switzerland-SwissGroove Audio Channel
Denmark-Radio Holstebro
Germany- Alooga Radio;Radio Unerhört Marburg;  Deutschlandradio Kultur
Armenia- City-FM 
Greece- ERT / GREEK RADIO 2 (National) 
U.K- Jazz Syndicate Radio and Real Love Radio; Vibes 90.6 FM
Minsk, Belarus
Hong Kong- Radio 3

Canada:
KFMU 88.1 FM/Hamilton,Ontario; CFBX Radio;CKMN-FM 96,5; Radio DirectX RDX Toronto,
Montreal- Swing2Jazz 101.9 
New Foundland- CKSJ FM

New Zealand:Soundwave FM; World FM

Australia:
ILR Television and Radio; Relax Radio; Jazz Action Productions; PBS FM-106.7; 4CCR, 97.4 M; ISON Live Radio, NewCastle; Progressive Broadcasting Service; Triple H-FM; Valley FM 89.5; Radio 3ZZZ
Country Club Productions Pty ltd; 3CR; TripleU-FM, Nowra, N.S.W; Highlands 100.7FM;  PBS FM-  Progressive Broadcasting Service;  Shoalhaven Community Radio Inc. (New South Wales); Highland FM;Jazz Radio Pty Ltd; The JazzXpress Caravan 94.1FM Jazz Radio Gold Coast Queensland Australia; Cairns FM 89.1; 2TEN FM;  BLU FM 89.1; 2CCR FM 90.5; (Castle Hill NSW); West Gippsland Comm. Radio; 2NVR 105.9 FM; 2 bbb 93.3 FM; 2 NCR 92.9 FM; Radio Logan 101 FM; OKR 97.1 FM; (Victoria); Easy FM 87.6 (Port Broughton);

South America:
IUS Stereo; Emisora Cultural Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento; Universidad Industrial de Santander-
Colombia
Argentina-FM Urquiza 91.7MHZ

Yellowbeat/Japan has been playing "We Call It Music".

Internet:
www.jazzradio247.com (New York)www.smoothjazz.com; www.seriousjazz.org
www.amrap.org-Australia
www.boomerradio.com; Live365.com ( 30 stations) www.jazz88online.org; Smother.net-Manassas,VA
Skyjazz Internet Radio - Ottawa ,Canada
Luver Radio-Berkeley,CA; M3 Radio-New York, NY



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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