Smile

Smile

by Laura Nyro

CD

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Overview

After a five-year hiatus, singer/songwriter Laura Nyro returned in 1976 with Smile. On this disc, Nyro's somewhat idiosyncratic writing and performance style is decidedly subdued. In its stead is a light pop and jazz feel similar to that of Maria Muldaur's mid-'70s recordings. Supporting Nyro instrumentally is virtually a who's-who of New York and Los Angeles studio stalwarts. While the prowess of folks like Will Lee (bass), brothers Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Michael Brecker (flute/sax), Hugh McCracken (guitar), and Rick Marotta (drums) certainly strengthens Nyro's already laid-back material, it likewise reduces her to sounding like a Joni Mitchell ripoff. The undeniable highlight of Smile is the maturity in the songwriting. It becomes obvious that the half-decade away has done some significant good in revealing a decidedly positive evolution in Nyro's approach to her own life. What's more is that the material on this album seems to come from a place of contentment. The influence of her work with the female soul vocal trio LaBelle on Gonna Take a Miracle -- prior to her mini-retirement -- also seems to be a source of inspiration throughout this disc. The high and tight vocal harmonies (all of which are credited to Nyro) are wholly rewarding and hark back to her R&B-induced "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Stoned Soul Picnic." This is most evident on the opening track, "Sexy Mama" (penned by Harry Ray, Joe Robinson, and Al Goodman), which was also a hit for the R&B vocal group the Moments. The intimate nature of "I Am the Blues" and "Midnite Blue" are reminiscent of older Nyro favorites such as "Emmie" and "Captain St. Lucifer." In all, Smile is much like a musical letter from an old acquaintance and casts a direct light onto the next phase in Laura Nyro's recording career.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/22/2013
Label: Iconoclassic
UPC: 0888837123822
catalogNumber: 1034
Rank: 21671

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laura Nyro   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Wood Block
John Tropea   Guitar,Shaker
Joe Beck   Guitar
Michael Brecker   Flute,Saxophone
Richard Davis   Bass
George Young   Flute,Saxophone
David Friedman   Vibes
Bob Babbitt   Bass
Greg Bennett   Guitar
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Joe Farrell   Saxophone
Jerry Friedman   Guitar
Reika Kamota   Koto
Will Lee   Bass
Rick Maratta   Drums
Hugh McCracken   Guitar
Paul Messing   Triangle
Chris Parker   Drums
Allan Schwartzberg   Drums
Rubin Bassine   Shaker
Nisako Yoshida   Koto
Jimmy Macullen   Trombone,Wood Block
Jeff Miranov   Guitar
Jan Gutars   Shaker

Technical Credits

Laura Nyro   Composer,Producer
Goodman   Composer
Charles Calello   Producer
Tim Geelan   Engineer
Ed Lee   Artwork
Don Puluse   Engineer
Sylvia Robinson   Composer
Quaglieri   Tape Research
Harry Ray   Composer
Jeremy Holiday   Tape Research
Jeff James   Tape Research
Michele Kort   Liner Notes

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