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.
Cute creatures with personality plus! Crochet yourself a family of fun furry animal friends that are guaranteed to make you smile. Instagram sensation Isabelle Kessedjian has created this adorable range of forest and farmyard animals with their very own stylish wardrobes - all in crochet! Using Isabelle's easy patterns, discover how to crochet your furry friends and then personalize them with your choice of clothing and accessories. Each animal is presented as a mini story to bring your new friend to life, with a whole heap of extras to complete each scene. Go on a day out with Family Rabbit and their baby Bunny, take a romantic trip to Paris with Koala and Panda, have fun on a camping trip with Bear complete with satchel and camera, explore the forest with Reindeer and Fox, and enjoy a feast with the pink and perky Pigs. These fantastic animals have bags of personality and as gifts will delight your family and friends - but you'll want to make a set for yourself first!