Customer Reviews

35
4.7 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2005
I purchased Spread Your Wings And Fly five days ago and I can't stop playing it. I loved Laura Nyro in the late 1960's and early 1970's and still have my vinyl copies of Eli and The Thirteenth Confession and New York Tendaberry. I had not listened to Laura in quite a few years, as I rarely play the old vinyl records anymore, which are tucked away in the basement. But, I started thinking about her for some reason, went to Amazon, and bought the NY Tendaberry CD and Spread Your Wings and Fly. I had not heard the latter before, but, after listening to samples, decided to try it. So far, it's the only one I have played.

This live performance is with just Laura and the piano. No band, no drummer or bass, just Laura. To me, it's the best way to hear her. It was recorded at the Fillmore East and apparently was one of the last shows held there. It must have been a doozie, and the audience sounds like it was totally awed by the performance, as well they should have been.

One should be advised that the recording quality leaves a bit to be desired. Apparently, the old tapes sat around for a long time and the CD does have a few distortions of Laura's voice, particularly when she hits the high notes. There is even an acknowledgement of this on the liner notes. Nonetheless, for the most part the sound quality is just fine, and I feel this live performance captures Laura at her best. There is a mix of covers -- such as Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing, Natural Woman, Walk On By and Dancing In The Streets -- with her own songs, including American Dove, Emmie, Timer, Lu, Flim Flam Man, I Am The Blues, Map To The Treasure, Christmas In My Soul and Save The Country. The mood goes from happy and light on Dancing In The Streets and Emmie, to intense and moving on I Am The Blues and Map To The Treasure, the last being my personal favorite. And she does some amazing things with her voice on I Am The Blues. Her rendition of Natural Woman is excellent; her voice is absolutely beautiful and I think even Aretha would be proud!

Also, my favorite song by Laura has always been Save The Country. I like it even better on this CD than on New York Tendaberry, since there is no orchestra, which I thought was too strong on NY Tendaberry. The only minor negative is that the audience claps in rhythm throughout most of the song, but it is minimally distracting and does capture the spirit of the song, and, probably, the event.

I haven't heard all of her CDs, but, so far, this is my favorite and I strongly recommend it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2005
The legend of Laura Nyro is supported by her many recordings but very few have the immediacy and brilliance as this recording: "Spread Your Wings And Fly" recorded at the Fillmore West in 1971.

I was fortunate to have seen Nyro in the middle 1970's, at the release of "Smile" at the Santa Monica Civic. I was a mere pup but I knew that I was seeing genius nonetheless.

Laura's voice is at its best and purest here, abetted only by piano and her gorgeous phrasing and vocal timbre.

It is a surprise to me that this recording includes an early version of one of her classics: I Am The Blues, which she hones to perfection by the time it is included in the "Smile" album of 1976.

She includes versions of her songs from "Christmas and the Beads of Sweat": Map To The Treasure and Christmas In My Soul without the orchestrations of the album versions but they lose nothing in the translation to these Live versions.

To know Laura Nyro is to understand a little bit of what Heaven and Love is about. She is nothing if not about closeness, family and the vagaries of Love.

To know and understand Laura is to know what makes us as human beings tick: She is Love, She is Real, She is the embodiment of raw and transcendent Emotion.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2004
It is amazing to me that this CD comes from a recording that was salvaged from a tape. Despite the slight tape hiss that runs throughout the CD the sound is good, and the performance - wonderful. Some Nyro classics ("Emmie", "Timer", "Flim Flam Man")to her soulful interpretations of oldies ("O-o-h Child", "Walk On By", "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman") and then onto songs even her greatest fans (like myself) have never heard ("American Dove" and "Mother Earth"), this is all classic Nyro. From someone who had the opportunity to see her live in the late '60s and early '70s, this sounds exactly like what I remember. Just Laura and her piano. This CD includes the only live recording I know of "Christmas In My Soul" and "Map To The Treasure" and they reminded me of what great songs they are, pretty much relevant to this day. And her piano playing is incredible. I could never comprehend how she manages to make her voice and piano lead together in the same song. Usually piano accompanies a singer but she does something else. They appear as equal partners in her songs. And she needs no other instrumentation. It's incredible to me and this CD is a wonderful addition to the legacy of Laura Nyro. Its a perfect example of what she was great at doing. I highly recommend this.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2004
Quite simply, Laura at the very height of her powers.

Listen and be amazed at Laura's ability to hold an audience of 2600 people thoroughly entranced, as she weaves her magic, alone at her piano.

These renditions of some then-current songs, a few pop oldies, and two songs never to be heard again, are lovely, forceful, lyrical and raw...all the things that made Laura what she was. Some of these performances seem to almost stop the passage of time, they're so vibrant and alive. Map to the Treasure is especially hair-raising, and Laura receives an ovation mid-song for her passionate accompaniment.

Though caveats appear in the packaging regarding the quality of the sound of this recording, they truly don't impede your listening pleasure in the slightest. The fact that these tapes exist, and we're able to hear them over 30 years later is a miracle.

If you love Laura, you MUST own this NOW!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
What a tragedy that we've lost such a great voice. But at least this previously unreleased live recording recaptures some of the magic that was Laura Nyro. She just sang with such passion, and her voice was so sweet and her songs so powerful... this is superb stuff. And while the several cover tunes from this concert are fine, it's on Laura's own songs where she really shines.
The liner notes describe how the tape of this performance was restored during the mastering process, and they did an excellent job. Certainly a few sound quality flaws remain, but overall the sound is more than adequate. There are also some performance flaws -- a few places where her voice breaks, the occasional mic feedback, etc. -- but those all just serve to make it sound more real. I'm just grateful for the chance to hear this music, including two songs making their recorded debuts!
By the way, I had to do a "title search" at the store to find this CD. I finally found it in the "folk" section. I guess I don't think of Laura as a folk singer. To me her music is more universal than that.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2004
I feel a little weird about buying Laura's posthumous albums, like they're being released just so people can continue to make money off her. But they're also released so that her fans can continue to enjoy her magic, especially in the concerts many of us were unable to attend. So in that spirit, I bought Spread Your Wings and Fly, and I think it was in that spirit that it was released. It's quickly become my favorite of the live albums I own. Maybe because it's so intimate a performance, just Laura and her piano with an appreciative crowd. Maybe because it's got such a range of material. The 12 tracks contain 17 songs (a few are medleys), including 6 covers, 2 originals never released elsewhere (the title comes from the lyrics to one of these, "American Dove"), and spanning 5 albums and 10 years. Maybe because it's just more of Laura's magic, which I cannot get enough of.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2006
Every once in a while you come across something very special. If you came to this page then you have long ago or just recently discovered this highly underrated and extremely talented lady.

I am in awe of this piece of musical history and I am sure that you will be too. No wonder they had trouble finding a place for her in the music world of her time as she crosses from pop, jazz, rock and soul. No wonder David Geffen loved her so much. David this is proof positive in my mind of your reputation with "pitch." One wonders if she were singing today where she might be?

There is an original song on this album that is so wonderful it is amazing that no one else has recorded it. I could not find the lyrics online so I wrote them out for myself. The song is "Mother Earth" and it is exquisite.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2005
One thing you can count on from Laura Nyro fans is their undying love & awe for her songs, her voice, her spirit, her entire being - she was a very special person & her music has the ability to swallow you whole in a blanket of warm soul. There are plenty of reviews on here attesting to her greatness so I don't need to write another one - but I figured that, if you're looking at the reviews of Spread Your Wings & Fly, you may have already delved in to her catalogue & are looking to complete it with something live. Live recordings are a gamble, right? Many a great artist has produced a mediocre live record so I'm here to tell you that this is definitely NOT one of those. Many of us were not fortunate enough to see Laura Nyro perform live & this CD is a wonderful glimpse in to that experience. Just her & a piano - unadorned by anything that could possibly date it - this is timeless, wonderful music. Forget the occasional tape hiss, distortion etc. It's NOTHING in the grander scheme of what's contained here. The audience is, for the most part, the picture of restraint. She starts playing a song & applaue explodes for about 3 seconds before everyone suddenly realizes that they don't want to miss a note & the room goes dead silent. There's the occasional clap-along on an upbeat number but I don't find it obtrusive. So if you're on the fence, don't hesitate on this one. Spread Your Wings & Fly is not just a Nyro live record - it's a true addition to her catalogue. We love her records because she labors over every aspect of the composition & performance. We love this record because it's just Laura Nyro & a piano doing what she was born to do.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2004
It is absolutely no coincidence that this beautiful, beautiful album is released on June 15, one of the darkest days in NYC history. EXACTLY 100 years ago, over one thousand souls were lost, burned and drowned, in the General Slocum Ship Disaster. From tragedy, on this day, comes a renewal, a reason to celebrate-- a New York City voice arises. The faithful have been waiting a very long time.
Laura Nyro performed eight times at the Fillmore East, and there was nothing like it in the world. This album absolutely places you there; just close your eyes and rejoice. And those who were fortunate to be there, smile and remember. For nobody can sing Laura's songs like Laura, herself.
I didn't see Laura during this particular performance, but now I can. I was in the audience the previous December, and a week doesn't go by in which I don't think about this experience, of over thirty years ago. Laura could do that to you--all alone, at the piano, with the flowers, and that wonderful, wonderful voice.
Special thanks to SONY for the love and hard work that made this happen. Special thanks to Patty DiLauria for getting more and more Laura out to the generation that loves and remembers her and to the generation that is discovering her anew.
And special thanks to Dan Nigro, Laura's first cousin, keeper of the flame. Danny, a year ago, we imagined an album such as this;
now it is here!!
People talk about Laura Nyro's incredible connection with her audience-buy this CD and experience it yourself.
With Love.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2004
Although the sound of the tape hissing is at times unfotunate, this recording captures for me the beauty of a live Laura Nyro performance. Having seen a number of her performances over the years, though not this historic one, it brought back many fond memories. She was just the most intense performer. No one has yet surpassed her songwriting and singing abilities in my opinion to this day!!! A must have for all Nyro addicts. Run to the store!!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Gonna Take A Miracle
Gonna Take A Miracle by Laura Nyro & LaBelle
$9.99


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.