Shepley Metcalf, an “excellent cabaret/jazz singer who is foremost a sensitive interpreter of lyrics” (Boston Globe), specializes in little-known tunes from the ‘20s to the ‘40s. But as a teenager in the late '60s, she was a passionate fan of singer/songwriter Laura Nyro. After decades of admiring Nyro’s poetic imagery and sudden rhythm shifts, Metcalf decided to dive in and explore this eclectic songbook. Nyro (1947-1997) penned numerous songs that became huge hits (Stoney End, And When I Die, Eli's Coming) for other artists; her own albums earned her a devoted following and critical acclaim. The NYC native was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012.
Metcalf debuted her show of Nyro tunes in Boston, then brought it to New York City's Metropolitan Room where she was joined by New York talents Janice Friedman on piano, Jim Whitney on bass, and Willard Dyson on drums. This November 2012 show was recorded live, and 8 of the evening's songs are featured on the album.
The Songs of Laura Nyro is Metcalf’s second project to highlight a New York songwriter. Her interpretation of the last songbook by lyricist Fran Landesman (Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most) was reviewed in The New York Times and ran in Chicago, Boston, Provincetown, San Francisco, and for five evenings at the Metropolitan Room. The companion album, Something Irresistible: Songs of Fran Landesman + Simon Wallace, earned a four-star/excellent review from Jazzwise, the UK’s top selling jazz magazine.
The Songs of Laura Nyro: Live at the Metropolitan Room album info:
Recorded live by Jean-Pierre Perreaux on November 10, 2012 at the Metropolitan Room, New York City.
Mastered by Doug Hammer at Dreamworld Productions.
Arrangements: tracks 1, 5, 7 by Tom LaMark and Ron Roy; tracks 2, 3, 4, 8 by Tom LaMark; track 6 by Ron Roy