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Billy Childs’ Powerful Tribute to Songwriting Icon Laura Nyro

Treasure hunt

Renee Fleming
Dianne Reeves
Laura Nyro
Billy Childs

Take your pick of what to love about Laura Nyro: her winding harmonies, her everlasting melodies, her fantastical wordplay, her rocking, swinging way with sounds reminiscent of Broadway, soul, jazz, folk, Brill Building pop and much else. The Bronx-born pianist, singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee set a blazing example in a time of great turmoil in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Pianist Billy Childs, thanks to his older sister, heard Nyro’s message at a young age and found an obsession for life.

After sitting on the idea of a Nyro-themed album for some 15 years, Childs has released Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro (Sony Masterworks), which features Renée Fleming, Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves, Rickie Lee Jones, Ledisi, Chris Potter and other singular talents in a rousing, genre-defying homage to Nyro’s genius. Reeves, who began working with Childs “at about 19 or 20,” recalls that “Laura Nyro was a topic of discussion from the first time I met him.”

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Originally Published