1 Archived Comments


  • Paul Mon wrote on October 12, 2007 report

    So, yeah. There are a couple of worthwhile 'kid friendly' albums here.

    Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown album, absolutely...
    Ellington's Nutcracker, not my first Ellington choice, but OK...
    Basie's Beatle Bag, my kids didn't go for it but yours might...

    But the rest?

    Jimmy Smith's Peter and the Wolf? The concept sounds kid friendly, but the music certainly isn't.

    Louis Armstrong's Hello Dolly? Armstrong Good! But those songs? Bad!

    Monk's Brilliant Corners? Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Bright Moments? Hendricks Boppin' at The Blue Note?

    Great jazz, for sure... but not accessible to kids and definitely not anything they can sit through. Those are stage two or three jazz education albums.

    Expose them to this music at your own peril.

    In my experience, the best way to expose children to jazz is mostly through the vocal albums, which they get.

    A couple of alternatives.

    - Louis Armstrong's Disney Songs the Satchmo Way... you can't sit still through this one and neither will your kids. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da!

    - Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come... children love the title track and Pfrancing. And it's Miles, so you know it's good for their brain development.

    - Ella Fitzgerald's Get Happy... jazzy and accessible. My children were immediately drawn to Ella's voice. The CD reissue also has an updated version of A Tisket A Tasket, that kids like. (And if you have her version of Old MacDonald somewhere throw that on too).

    - Duke Ellington's Mary Poppins Album. There's more for kids to like on this album than the Nutcracker Suite... at least five really good songs, all with that Ellington touch.

    - Tony Bennett's Playground... he did a good job selecting and presenting his music for children.

    - and throw some Louis Jordan and maybe a smattering of Sammy Davis in there, too, because even though you might not think they're jazz, I have found that their music is a good entry point that children can relate to.

    Hope this helps!