When Grammy Award®-winning musician Billy Childs was 11 years old, his older sisters introduced him to the work of Songwriter and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Her blend of Broadway-inspired melodies, jazz improvisation and socially conscious lyrics have stayed with him. Now Billy has returned to his early source of inspiration, conceiving and orchestrating his new album, "Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro."
Childs is not alone in his enthusiasm for Nyro's music, an incredible range of musicians join him in interpreting her narratives. Classical soprano Renée Fleming and cellist Yo-Yo Ma add new meaning to her hometown ode, "New York Tendaberry." Jazz stars Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Shorter collaborate on Nyro's pictorial "Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp," and R&B chanteuse Ledisi updates one of Nyro's biggest hits, "Stoned Soul Picnic." Other prominent voices include Alison Krauss, Rickie Lee Jones, Shawn Colvin, Dianne Reeves, Susan Tedeschi, Lisa Fischer and Becca Stevens, with featured instrumental soloists Chris Botti, Jerry Douglas, Chris Potter and Steve Wilson. Childs' own experiences leading jazz chamber groups proved invaluable to creating the widescreen scope of "Map to the Treasure" his focus was on arranging the ensemble and guests to best present Nyro's imagery. Even after Childs' decades of considering Nyro's music, at the heart of it all is his unyielding devotion to her art. That love is the heart of the re-imagination of "Map to the Treasure." ~ billychilds.com / sonymasterworks.com