Live! The Loom's Desire
Like Ol' Blue Eyes, the late, great singer-songwriter Laura Nyro did things her way. Performing live in the 1990s, Nyro turned her back on the standard backing band. Instead, she assembled an all-female vocal choir that harmonized behind her while she sang and played piano. The results on this luminous recording, culled from performances during 1993 and '94 at New York's Bottom Line (where Nyro gave annual shows), capture how successfully that uncommon ensemble sound fit Nyro's staunchly melodic compositions. Her talents are on full display on several of her own songs that became hits for others, such as "Wedding Bell Blues," "Blowin' Away," "Save the Country," and "And When I Die." Elsewhere, Nyro digs in deep to the beloved early rock 'n' roll and R&B songs that inspired her own work, turning in impassioned renditions of the Everly Brothers' "Let It Be Me," the Shirelles' "Dedicated to the One I Love," and Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby, Baby." Displaying her vibrant, expressive voice and the onstage intensity that endeared her to her fans, Nyro gives plenty of evidence here of why she remains so sorely missed.