Dirt and grit, sweetness and sorrow, this is “New York Tendaberry”, Laura Nyro’s masterpiece. This tapestry of great beauty and painful images is not for the pop-oriented crowd who only are familiar with the aurally digestible versions of “Save the Country” and “Time and Love” sung by other people. Laura herself had a voice both comforting and full of despair, and both those songs are woven into this complex journey. I always imagine it as twenty-four hours in the life of this street-wise, New Yorker, where she is both observer and subject. She wakens as her man leaves (You Don’t Love Me When I Cry), yanks us by the hand to follow her down to the subway to sing joyful harmonies which echo and blend to the sound of trains(Mercy on Broadway), and then to Gibsom Street. If you are soft, then you will shiver, they hang the alley cats on Gibsom Street. Finally, in the languid, deep night, a brief celebration from her terrace as firecrackers break, dust, and skate. But the reality of her world takes over as she gazes below on humanity which joins for life through silver tears (New York Tendaberry).
Listen to the final song, “New York Tendaberry”. Laura Nyro’s incredible vocals and imagery are of this time, now. It was of that time, and will be forever treasured by those who love and be willing to listen to this exceptional artist. Reviewed by Noraj