This album is truly a godsend. Like many fans I remember reading her obituary in Rolling Stone and feeling shattered. No exageration there, because my reponse to her music has been so personal. I had been mystified why her work over the years had been so throughly dismissed by the male 'rock' critics whenever a review appeared, post her late 60's heyday. 'Smile' for example was not even considered worhtwhile release... All of this was not helped by Ms Nyro's seclusion from the business for many years, and the long gaps between her last two Columbia albums. But anyone who listens to 'Eli & 13th' album, or even a later album like 'Nested' will know she was unique at the time these records came out, although now ofcourse, with has scores of imitators, new listeners might think it all sounds old hat...
By the time Columbia finally put together a 'best-of' set , and some interest was being generated again, in the 1990's, it sadly wasn't too long before she was diagnosed with termial cancer. She was only 49 when she died.
What a miracle therefore that just a year before the diagnosis she had some of these new songs and a few choice covers recorded ( the plan, according to the sleeve notes was to record enough for two seperate albums, one full of new songs, and one a 'covers' album- sadly this was not to be). Very judiciously Rounder records was entrusted with this posthumous release, and thankfully , when they have had to 'flesh out' some of the instumental backing, they have used stalwarts like the Becker brothers, and John Tropea the guitarist, who I think also played on the 1978 live album 'Seasons of light'.
The whole thing flows as well as any album she put out when she was alive. She would have been very happy that this got to us, I'm sure!
And by the way, keep your CD running at the end, for a little (and very poignant) surprise.