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Christy Baron: Bingo

Jim Santella By

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They're the songs we grew up with.

No, not the ones from AM or FM radio or from our earliest record, tape, and CD collections. These are the songs that we learned in our first years at school, at summer camp, and with neighborhood friends at play. Christy Baron sings each selection the way we remember it. In case you've forgotten the words, the lyrics are included in the liner booklet.

Along with these straightforward vocals, we get a sassy jazz accompaniment with integrated solos. Piano, acoustic bass, saxophone, and drums become sensitive partners for Baron as she delivers the songs earnestly. As you would expect, she performs the songs as an educator would: with clear-cut articulation and genuine emotion. They're the same songs we remember from our childhood, but they're dressed up a little with a mainstream jazz aura, and they're delivered with Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms.

Roger Davidson's "Sleep, My Child" and "Lullaby Waltz" serve as appropriate children's bedtime music, while Raffi's "Baby Beluga" arrives as a bright and happy calypso affair. "Happy Birthday," the album's lone instrumental arrangement, closes Bingo with a fiery-hot samba parade that makes you want to celebrate.

"Three Blind Mice" and "The Fox" push the envelope with stirring calypso arrangements. "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" takes a samba ride that proves joyful as well as fulfilling. Throughout each arrangement Baron's fresh vocals are suitably balanced with the quartet's perky jazz solos.

Highly recommended for folks who have families, as well as for those who don't think they do, Bingo takes you back to those grammar school days when innocence ran through our veins everywhere we went.

Track Listing: B-I-N-G-O; Froggy Went a Courtin'; This Old Man; Home on the Range; He's Got the Whole World in His Hands; Baby Beluga; All the Pretty Horses; Scarborough Fair; Kumbaya; Sleep, My Child; Who's That Tapping at the Window?; The Fox; Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; The Riddle Song; Lullaby Waltz; Three Blind Mice; Happy Birthday.

Personnel: Christy Baron: vocals; Roger Davidson: piano; David Finck: bass; Paulo Braga: drums; Marivaldo dos Santos: percussion; Oscar Feldman: alto saxophone; Aaron Heick: tenor saxophone; Susan de Camp: oboe on "Sleep, My Child" and "Lullaby Waltz."

Title: Bingo | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Soundbrush Records

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