Jon Crosse: Kind Of Blue & Pink (2006)
This album is deja vu all over again! Saxophonist Jon Crosse, a Los Angeles-based musician for the past thirty years and a sax soloist for singer Paul Anka since 1983, has dedicated a part of his musical career towards jazz for children. Kind Of Blue & Pink, replete with a clever title pun, is cobbled together from previously released recordings. So what is really new here? We've heard nursury rhyme material from Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers ("Three Blind Mice") and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross ("The ABC Song"), and I'm sure that the Jacques Loussier Trio has recorded Brahms' Lullaby.
Crosse adds star power to the lineup by providing nursury rhyme vocals from Carmen McRae on three tracks ("Mary Had A Little Lamb," "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," "Hickory Dickory Dock"), and Freddie Hubbard blows trumpet on a few titles. But these additions are largely a distraction from the net effect of the album, which otherwise is a very effective soothing and lullaby-like collection that brings jazz sensibilities to these familiar children's melodies. The music and Crosse's arrangements create a suite-like setting that is buoyed by his soulful playing on soprano, alto and tenor sax, flute and clarinetin addition to the work by pianists Clare Fisher and David Witham, bassists Putter Smith and Mel Graves, drummer Paul Kriebich and percussionist Luis Conte.
This album has already received praise as a 2006 Parents Choice Recommended Award Winner, as well as a National Parenting Publications Award.
Track Listing: Mary Had A Little Lamb; Baa Baa Black Sheep; I Love Little Kitty; Hickory Dickory Dock; Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; L'Enfant Dors; London Bridge; Golden Slumbers; Three Blind Mice; Mon Petit; Brahms' Lullaby; All The Pretty Young Horses; Hush Little Baby; Rain Rain Go Away; Rock-A-Bye Baby; Sleep Baby Sleep; All Night, All Day.
Personnel: Jon Crosse: soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet, keyboards; Carmen McRae: vocals; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet, flugelhorn; Clare Fisher: piano, keyboards; Dave Witham: piano; Putter Smith: bass; Mel Graves: bass; Paul Kreibich: drums; Luis Conte: percussion.