95

The David Leonhardt Jazz Group: Jazz for Kids

By

Sign in to view read count
The David Leonhardt Jazz Group: Jazz for Kids Easton, PA, which sits at the fork of the Leigh and Delaware Rivers is not only the home of Lafayette College and the Crayola crayon factory, but is the site for one of jazz music's most prolific and multi talented pianists of our time, David Leonhardt. in addition to "regular jazz albums, he has released CDs devoted solely to dancers...a kind of music minus one for tap dancing...original compositions and interpretations of some of the most compelling entries from the Great American Popular Songbook. He has worked regularly with some of jazz top stars such as David "Fathead" Newman and Michelle Hendricks. Now he has turned his attention to opening up the joys of jazz to the younger set. Be assured, this is not one of those albums solely limited to children's songs rearranged with a jazz theme. Rather they are ditties whose melodies and rhythms should be attractive to the younger than voting age members of the population. Take "Are You Sleeping?" aka "Freres Jacques", where Leonhardt's long time vocalist companion, Nancy Reed, introduces the joys of scat which Larry McKenna backs wth his Paul Desmond light as a feather sax. While the album provides several opportunities, such as "When You Wish Upon a Star", for the younger set to be exposed to improvisation and other important jazz techniques, it's done so with the recognition that this may be the first time the group may have been deliberately exposed to jazz. So the presentations are not overdone by showing the highly technical skills of the performers. Leonhardt and his group manage to make the point without losing contact with their audience. This is apparent on "Flintstones", where McKenna's sax engages hard bop without blowing the kids away. By the way, adult listeners with find themselves attracted to such tunes as Reed's vocal working of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and Bobby Troup's "Route 66", a tune people never seem to get tired hearing. In sum, Leonhardt and friends expose the heart and soul of jazz without turning it into an anatomy lesson. Recommended.

www.davidleonhardt.com is where you can find more about the musically peripatetic David Leonhardt and his various projects.


Track Listing: Are You Sleeping?; When You Wish Upon a Star; This Old Man; Never Never Land; Flintstones; Somewhere over the Rainbow; Route 66; Someday My Prince Will Come; Hip Kids Blues; I'm An Old Cow Hand; My Favorite Things; Blues Shuffle; If You're Happy and You Know It

Personnel: David Leonhardt - Piano/Leader; Nancy Reed - Vocals; Taro Okamoto - Drums; Larry McKenna - Saxophone; Tony Marino - Bass

Title: Jazz for Kids | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Big Bang Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Glitter" CD/LP/Track Review Glitter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Follow Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "A Kenton Celebration" CD/LP/Track Review A Kenton Celebration
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Carve" CD/LP/Track Review Carve
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.