Making a good tribute is not an easy thing to do. You can have the best musicians the best songs but rarely do things fall together so nicely. On Map To The Treasure things came together perfectly and I think several things contributed to that.
First, you can find jazz, country and rock musicians and singers all collaborating together which could potentially be a bit chaotic, but one important thing to have in mind – this is a tribute to Laura Nyro – you have to be chaotic.
Second, obviously everyone involved, especially the boss of this project Billy Childs, is deeply in love with the music of Laura Nyro.
Third, the whole record is a very curious combination of emotional and rational. The songs and Laura’s musical approach wasn’t just presented as a replay, but her style and arrangements are closely studied and built upon.
And forth, the record is a strange combination of different musical taste. The musicians behind this record walk a thin line of delicious madness and saccharine which make the repeated listening an excellent pleasure. Just hear Rickie Lee Jones belting out some really out of the left field vocals on Been on a Train, and compare it to a more conventional approach taken by Dianne Reeves and Alison Krauss on this record, and you will know what I’m talking about.