Laura Nyro was one of life’s distinct singer songwriter who was arguably ignored during her short but talented time. Umpteen opportunities to enhance her musical status were overlooked by many, including her own father, to Laura Nyro herself who did not court the media spotlight. With her Morticia Addams looks and celebrity unease, Laura Nyro grew without sunlight but somehow thrived as one of the most influential cross-over musicians of her day. Yet posthumous praise for this vocal genius with innate digital piano dexterity and a penchant for melody and harmonies that paralleled past masters are overwhelming. As Sir Elton John cites his besotted musical fervour for the Laura Nyro style of rhythm and melody, so Kate Bush acknowledged her Goth-like ‘arty’ influence from the slender, straight-haired and pallid figure that was Laura Nyro. Like many flowers whose bloom was short-lived a hybrid daylily was named after Lauara in 2000. But she was no hybrid strain that opened for a day – Laura Nyro was a distinct individual whose music deserves to bloom and take its natural place in time. Laura Nyro Hits The Roof
Laura Nyro was a flexible cross-over musician who wrote compositions steeped in black-rooted history from jazz, pop to rock ‘n’ roll. She was celebrated as a ‘behind the scenes’ song writer for such artists as Barbara Streisand, Peter, Paul and Mary and The 5th Dimension. Her best-selling recorded single however was that written by duo Carol King and husband Geoff Goffin in 1962 with ‘’Up On The Roof’’. Originally recorded by The Drifters in 1962 and several other cover artists who mined Carol King’s work, Laura Nyro added her own unique rendition to the list.
The Drifters Original
The Drifters pop line added the ‘clonky’ sounds of a marimba to their scoring to give a certain ethnic feel to their music. The syncopated riff is embedded from the onset with guitar backing and drives straight into Verse 1:
G Em C D G
‘’When this old world starts getting me down, And people are just too much for me to face’’ etc
Laura’s Hot 100
Laura Nyro slowed the tempo down to a slow ballad style and accompanied her own emotive take from her digital piano. Her dynamic range displays a spectrum of vocals from soft whispers to a more aggressive edge reinforced by the bass line. ‘’Up On The Roof’’ is embellished in the higher octave range as a rubato spin with complex digital piano chord clusters is executed with Laura Nyro ease that takes the Carol King pastiche to a different level:
‘’Up on the roof x 2, Up on the roooooooooooof’’
A final musical reprise of blooming proportions that had the Laura Nyro audience on the ceiling whilst she was up on the roof!