Tuesday, February 26, 2008

***Doug Beavers Rovira Jazz Orchestra***

Imagine a Toddler Las Vegas, a Rat Pack of sippy cup totin' hipsters ... I'm pretty sure this would be the music they would be digging! Now, I've said before that if a kids' performer decides to record nursery rhymes or folk tunes, they'd better bring something different to the table. And much like Josh Levine's salsa-fest Josh Levine for Kids or Rockosaurus Rex's metalhead heaven The Big Bang, the Doug Beavers Rovira Jazz Orchestra does just that: Classic kiddie tunes are given a super swingin' treatment that'll have your junior Chairman of the Board's fingers a-poppin'.

Jazz, Baby! is an amazingly solid collection of songs, performed by a crack team of musicians, and sung by Matt Catingub and Linda Harmon. No low points or draaagging tracks here: From the opening horns of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to the subdued 4/4 - 3/4 arrangement of "Brahms Lullaby", play this one from beginning to end without reserve. Highlights include the Steely Dan / Manhattan Transfer-style vocals of "Itsy Bitsy Spider"; the Louis Prima / Keely Smith samba of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"; and the big, wide-open organic production of the whole project - very tight but very real (sounds like you're in the same room with the whole band!).

Kids who already know these songs will get the biggest kick out of listening to Jazz, Baby! ... I can just see 'em, cranking this album up and singing along as loudly as they can! Also highly recommended for parents who are sick of listening to the same damned CD of classic kids' tunes ... This fresh but familiar bunch of preschool hits will make a great addition to classrooms, libraries, and homes.