For the first time on CD, the magnificent and complete score for 'Laura'. The previous CD release on Arista was missing about ten minutes of cues. Additionally, what was presented was compiled into a twenty-seven minute suite with no track breaks - one long track. That release was taken from a reel-to-reel tape, but for this complete release the original elements were used. Additionally, included as a bonus are some test demos and the entire suite from the previous release. In total, eighteen tracks of prime David Raksin, and a score that truly stands the test of time. 'Laura' is a limited edition printing of only 1000 copies.
After a five-year hiatus, singer/songwriter Laura Nyro returned with Smile in 1976. On this disc, Nyro's somewhat idiosyncratic writing and performance style is decidedly subdued. In its stead is a light pop and jazz feel similar to that of Maria Muldaur's mid-'70s recordings. Supporting Nyro instrumentally is virtually a who's who of New York and Los Angeles studio stalwarts. While the prowess of folks like Will Lee (bass), brothers Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Michael Brecker (flute/sax), Hugh McCracken (guitar), and Rick Marotta (drums) certainly strengthens Nyro's already laid-back material, it likewise reduces her to sounding like a Joni Mitchell ripoff. The undeniable highlight of Smile is the maturity in the songwriting. It becomes obvious that the half-decade away has done some significant good in revealing a decidedly positive evolution in Nyro's approach to her own life. What's more is that the material on this album seems to come from a place of contentment.