Mark Winkler | The Laura Nyro Project

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Kurt Elling Laura Nyro Michael Buble

More Artists From
United States - California

Other Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Jazz Vocals Pop: 60's Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
There are no items in your wishlist.

The Laura Nyro Project

by Mark Winkler

Jazz singer/songwriter tacles the songbook of legendary 60s/70s icon Laura Nyro- and does it his way.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
cd in stock order now
Buy 2 or more of this title and get 20% off
Share to Google +1

Tracks

Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

To listen to tracks you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Sorry, there has been a problem playing the clip.

  song title
share
time
download
1. And When I Die
Share this song!
X
5:22 album only
2. Stoned Soul Picnic
Share this song!
X
5:25 album only
3. California Shoeshine Boys
Share this song!
X
3:12 album only
4. Time and Love
Share this song!
X
5:12 album only
5. Sweet Blindness
Share this song!
X
4:19 album only
6. He's a Runner
Share this song!
X
4:54 album only
7. Emmie
Share this song!
X
5:19 album only
8. Upstairs By a Chinese Lamp
Share this song!
X
5:07 album only
9. Buy and Sell
Share this song!
X
4:44 album only
10. Save the Country
Share this song!
X
3:44 album only
11. Billy's Blues
Share this song!
X
5:29 album only
preview all songs

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Although his last three CDs have placed high on the Jazz Week charts, and his lyrics have been regularly recorded by over 150 singers (including Dianne Reeves, Cheryl Bentyne, Jackie Ryan and Bob Dorough), for his latest work jazz singer and lyricist Mark Winkler has created a new album dedicated to fresh interpretations of the work of his own favorite singer/songwriter: Laura Nyro.

“I love the songs of Laura Nyro", says Winkler. “I am moved by both her music and her words. Her songs create their own worlds, conjuring up cities, cockleshells, exotic lands...and deep passions that touch and inspire me. She mixes Jazz with Broadway and Soul and Folk, and somehow, it all comes out great. I became aware of her brilliance while still a young man living at home with my family. Ever since then, I've had a burning desire to do her music. I decided that, at last, the time is right for me to tackle it...so I set myself the task of finding the “jazz side" of her amazing work. I'm hoping that today's music lovers will discover that her songs are so good that they really deserve a place in the Great American Songbook."

The Laura Nyro Project is not Winkler's first exploration into the musical legacy of another songwriter. His 2003 release Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup received a four-star review from Allmusic.com, while Jazzreview.com raved: “Even the artist himself (Bobby Troup) would be proud..." In his last release, Sweet Spot, Winkler also included interpretations of great songs by other legendary tunesmiths, notably George and Ira Gershwin and Leiber and Stoller. (Sweet Spot was named as the #5 Jazz vocal CD of the year by Jazz Times critic Christopher Loudon in 2011). Still, an attempt to shed new light on an artist with as devoted a fan base as New York-bred Laura Nyro is a brave move for the Los Angeles-based Winkler.

“It has been so interesting - and, at times, frustrating and challenging - to create a Mark Winkler interpretation of Laura Nyro's music", he notes. “The first challenge: Hey, I don't sound anything like her! I am not from the belting, melismatic school - my voice is lighter and more conversational and quite a bit lower. I had to find a way to fit my baritone-ness into her world of soprano side streets and soaring street-corner passions".

The task required collaboration with inspired musicians. Winkler tapped the talents of arranger and SNL Music Director Eli Brueggemann ("simply one of the best musicians I have ever worked with") to finesse nearly half of the CD's 11 tracks. “Eli understood Laura's idiosyncrasies and found parallels for them in the world of Jazz and the Great American Songbook", explains Winkler. “One of my favorite arrangements of his is “Time And Love." When I told him I wanted to turn this mid-tempo shuffle into a ballad, the remarkable musical reference book in his head led him to turn for inspiration to Ahmad Jamal's arrangement of “Moonlight In Vermont," transcending genres and decades in a musical micro-second."

Many other A-list musicians helped Winkler bring his ideas to fruition...the album is chock full of fine work by the likes of Eric Reed ( who supplied his own arrangement and piano for “Billie's Blues" and then plays killer stride on Winkler's offbeat take on Laura's 60s anti-war anthem “Save The Country"), Anthony Wilson ( who cools it down with his solo on “Emmie"), and the sons of the original Mills Brothers ( who apply their inimitable style to backgrounds on a New Orleans-infused version of “Sweet Blindness"). Saxophonist Bob Sheppard, guitarists Pat Kelly and Larry Koonse and bassist Dan Lutz also made major contributions to this musical adventure.

Prior to his work on The Laura Nyro Project, Winkler had released 11 CDs in the US, developing a substantial fan base of his own. The 2011 release, Sweet Spot, led to a feature article on Winkler's work in Jazz Times, which noted that he is “as both vocalist and lyricist, a master weaver of tunes that seem to demand gin, vermouth, a T-Bird convertible and the occasional femme fatale". In that same profile, Winkler's sometime singing partner Cheryl Bentyne (of Manhattan Transfer) says “He's a consummate writer, a wonderful interpreter of these incredible songs, and he does it all with wit, charm and warmth". Winkler and Bentyne have been touring around the country in a jazz show paying homage to the creators of the West Coast Cool sound, a recording of which will be released in the fall of 2013.

Besides the writing, singing and touring, there is another aspect of Winkler's career: teaching. He is in his seventh year as a teacher at UCLA Extension, for which he created a course called “Crafting Great Lyrics: A Songwriter's Workshop," which is now one of the most popular courses at the school.

Though there is plenty to keep him busy, Winkler plans to devote a lot of time and attention to his Laura Nyro Project. “It's something I've wanted to do for so long, and I was lucky enough to get some of the best people in the business to work with me. I'm proud of this album, and I 'm hoping that Laura's legions of fans will welcome it and feel that I have been faithful to her unique and provocative vision".

"Mark Winkler discovers what Miles Davis, Roy Ayers and Carmen McCrae knew back in the 60s, that Laura Nyro wrote great songs, and he makes them hip all over again"
Brett Fox LA Jazz Scene


Reviews


to write a review

Carrie Duncan

Lush, gorgeous ear candy
Laura Nyro was always a source of awe for me. Her songwriting was of a range and lushness and poignancy few could match. So imagine my exhilaration when I heard one of my favorite singers had taken on the Laura Nyro songbook (a match made in my own personal heaven).

Mark Winkler’s last CD, Sweet Spot, got twice-a-day rotation on my player for a good six months. This one promises to dominate my playlist once again. Mr. Winkler manages to bring a freshness to standards covered so frequently that it seems a given that there wasn’t anything new to say (there was, and here’s proof). But the lesser-known cuts are so striking: every time I play them, there’s an inward shift, a new reveal, a little heartrend. The vocals are so affecting, so genuine, that Mark Winkler’s Laura Nyro Project is now my go-to for heart help.

The stunning arrangements by Eli Brueggemann (really, the world would be a much better place if every CD, movie, and TV show just had a Brueggemann Budget) and the stellar playing make for depth on depth.

Mark Winkler will make a Nyrophile out of anyone. Buy multiples: you’re going to want to give them away.

Winkler's Muse

Jazztastic
Being a child of the 80’s, Laura Nyro was not someone that was present on the radio or in record stores.    If not for the fact that, Stoney End is my favorite Streisand songs, I don’t know if I would have been introduce to the myth, the legend that is NYRO.   Her career, tragically cut short by cancer, was more elusive than Streisand.  So, any NYRO related albums, covers, or mentions, gets my attention.  The wonderful contemporary jazz artist Mark Winkler has released a fantastic, fun, jazz infused tribute to Ms. Nyro.  I have long admired Mr. Winkler’s work from “Tropical Night” to his last gem of an album, “Sweet Spot”, so I was eager to hear his interpretations of these classic tunes.  He does not disappoint.  The song selection, covering her entire career, is wonderfully remarkable.   Winkler has found his muse in Nyros’ lyrics and melodies, delivering jazzy angst, purposeful drama and quizzical happiness in his interpretation.  “He’s a Runner” is a great example, as is “Billy’s Blue”.   The band is great too.  They blend well and have an infectious quality as you listen.  This album features extended solo sections for these great jazz musicians to shine.  I believe”The Laura Nyro Project” will put Mark Winkler back on top of the Jazz charts—where he belongs!!  I highly recommend it, buy it now.

B. Robert Fox –
Washington DC

Scott

It's impossible to not love this ...
Laura Nyro wrote some of the most important, soulful, and magical music ever recorded. Interpreting her tunes is no small feat, and Mark Winkler does it brilliantly. Every tune displays top-notch musicianship, smooth vocals, and an abiding love for the songs. This is a fantastic record!

Dolores Scozzesi

Mark Winkler, The Laura Nyro Project
Mark Winkler is a jazz star in my eyes. He created a lovely project of the material of 60's icon, Laura Nyro and combined with the wonderful arrangements of Eli Brueggeman, Rich Eames and his own, put his unique jazz stamp on it. Another highlight in this project is that his vocals are not only flawless, but extremely vulnerable. Bravo Winkler!!