John Wakefield - A Curious Children's Album
Reading the bio of John Wakefield which highlights his delicate balance of "Musician/Mr. Mom", one can't help but be intrigued. Not having any children yet but am familiar with the "Under 5 years old" musical discography thanks to my little niece, finding good, educational music that doesn't make you want to put ear plugs in or hot pokers in your (or the cheesy musician who created it) ears after the fifty millionth time of hearing it (you know exactly what I mean) is quite a task for the ages. Parents and caretakers deserve musical enjoyment and should be in on the secretly hidden jokes in children's songs too. Seasoned orchestra player John Wakefield's A Curious Children's Album delightfully accomplishes this mission impossible quite well.
Fusing contemporary and NOLA Dixieland jazz in Quincy Jones style, arranging and playing the music while bringing in talented guest singers, I found myself playing fake drums on my desk along to several of the tunes. The album reminded me of watching Sesame Street which, believe it or not, jammed back in the day (i.e. having Stevie Wonder play "Superstition" and that 1-2-3-4-5 Pinball machine song was addicting). "Hard Head", "Gravity" and "Get Nothin Done" are amusingly tongue-in-cheek and who could anyone "forget" baritone voice-featuring "Here Comes Chubby"? "Just Wait" and "You Light Up My World" even venture into 1996's Broadway play, Rent, territory. While I would have never stumbled upon this album otherwise, am glad I did and would recommend this for those who want to hear talent-filled tunes appropriate for tots.
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