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Hayes Greenfield's jazz CD for kids isn't just for the children. Under his leadership, the session swings hard and reveals plenty of hot soloing. The music flows with a mainstream quality, serving to introduce pure jazz to a youthful audience, as well as reminding adults that this language is indeed universal.
Greenfield founded Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz in 1997 as a live, interactive show for young people. Through this New York program, he introduces jazz to children while letting them participate freely. In that respect, his project resembles a few of the popular children's programs seen regularly on public television.
What sets Greenfield's soulful program apart from the rest, however, is the major effect that his jazz arrangements and improvised soloing leave on his audience. Never satisfied with musical fluff to demonstrate his purpose, the saxophonist brings quality jazz to the scene. Along with his own soulful soloing, the session includes smart mainstream work from pianist David Berkman, bassist Jay Anderson, drummer Tony Reedus, trumpeter Scott Wendholt, trombonist Bruce Eidem and an array of enthusiastic vocalists.
Old MacDonald is represented as an outgrowth of Monk's "Bemsha Swing that features Greenfield's alto and Berkman's piano in an adventurous setting. "I've Been Working on the Railroad features Eidem's trombone and Wendholt's trumpet in an instrumental arrangement that draws upon the roots of New Orleans jazz for its inspiration. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star moves the band into a glorious gospel setting, while "Oh Susanna takes Greenfield's soprano saxophone for an emotional ride with Richie Havens' inspired vocal.
By introducing pure jazz of the highest quality to our young people, Greenfield is providing a service for all. My hat is off to this gentleman for his remarkable project.
Track Listing: Are We Rolling?; Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; Grandfatherís Clock; Fiddle-De-Dee; Oh Susanna; Skip To My Lou; Animal Fair; Blow the Man Down; This Old Man; Old MacDonald; The Muffin Man; Iíve Been Working on the Railroad; Sur le Pont DíAvignon.
Personnel: Hayes Greenfield: sopranino, soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, percussion; Richie
Havens, Lisa Michel, Miles Griffith: vocals; Charenťe Wade: vocals, childrenís vocals; David
Berkman: piano, organ, celesta; Jay Anderson: bass; Tony Reedus: drums; Charlie
Giordano: accordion; Kathleen Connolly: violin; Scott Wendholt: trumpet; Bruce Eidem:
trombone; Bob Stewart: tuba; Aina Ratovonoriva: alto saxophone; Bruce Williamson: bass
clarinet; David Gaskin: steel drums; Todd Turkisher: drums, percussion; Adison Essig,
Brandon Essig, Mary Jean Lichmacher, Harry Lichmacher, Max Lichmacher: childrenís