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What better gift could there be for the first man in your life than the gift of music? Music to make him think of your special bonds. Music to hum while he goes to get his whuppin’ belt. Jazz music. Jazz for Dads.
While some of the thematic connections may be obvious only to the truly hip Daddy-o, lyrical renditions of some appropriate numbers make this album a pleasure for any pater. For the ladies, there is Rosemary Clooney’s timeless take on Cole Porter’s "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" (a song which gave new meaning to "making the team"). For the guys, Dave Frishberg reminds Dad of his good fortune in having a son in "You’re A Lucky Guy" (though Ken Peplowski’s smoky sax swing with "My Buddy" might be even more appropriate).
Peplowski’s reedy bend of Duke Ellington’s "Mr. Gentle And Mr. Cool" may musically describe how you see Dad (and hopefully so). Other songs, however, are a bit more esoteric and extraneous. The trio of Monty Alexander, Ray Brown and Herb Ellis do a good job with the slow and mellow "Put Your Little Foot Right Out," but the connection to Father’s Day is a bit harder to place. Similarly with Dave McKenna’s tickling of "When You Wish Upon A Star." While it might be nice to think that your folks wished for you, I’m sure you have given them reason to diffuse this supposition. And what about Gene Harris’s key run through "The Best Things In Life Are Free"? Is that to remind Dad to overlook that atrocious tie you got him last year?
Regardless of why some of the songs were chosen, they all act as an appropriate gift which can be relished by the aficionado and enjoyed by the musically literate. If your dad don’t know "God Bless the Child," God bless you.
Track Listing: 1. You Are My Sunshine - Scott Hamilton Quartet
2. Child Is Born - Jon Faddis
3. You're a Lucky Guy - Dave Frishberg
4. My Buddy - Ken Peplowski
5. Put Your Little Foot Right Out - Monty Alexander
6. Pick Yourself Up - Nnenna Freelon
7. Best Things in Life Are Free - Gene Harris Quartet
8. You're My Everything - George Shearing
9. My Heart Belongs to Daddy - Rosemary Clooney
10. When You Wish upon a Star - Dave McKenna
11. Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool - Ken Peplowski Quintet
12. God Bless the Child - Ernestine Anderson
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.