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I'm accused of being anti-cat, perhaps because my favorite feline name is "Punt, or because one of my first favorite Web hangouts was an "Official Cat Football site which included advice such as using duct tape to avoid injury (to the player, not the pet).
If true I'd never give Kitty Cat Songs to Celebrate Mama Cat a second glance. But the concept is as charming as a box of cute little furballs being given away by kids at a garage sale - and won't result in damaged curtains, yellow carpet stains and a big ugly furball making unceasing demands on your lap.
This is one of those "mixtape collections of freely available MP3 files rounded up into a single collection, with the obvious common theme being cats. It's offered by Oddio Overplay, which posts a wide and weird collection of original compositions, remixes and "discovered public domain recordings. The site's offerings are vast - and vastly uneven - but merely browsing and reading the outstanding descriptions of various collections and songs is entertaining.
The Kitty collection has a surprisingly high number of jazz compositions among the 15 full- length MP3 songs (plus several other brief excerpts and a few in other file formats). There's also a couple of broken links.
Some songs are true old school gems, including "Tiger Rag by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the 1930ish "Kitty from Kansas City by Rudy Vallee and His Connecticut Yankees. Modern jazz heft comes from pianist Matthew Fries on "The Black Cat, part of a quintet album named one of Jazziz magazine's top 10 of 2001. And of course there's a liberal sprinkling of playfulness, much of it coming on rockish songs representing maybe one-third to one-half of the collection, depending on how one categorizes music. But don't ignore them; songs like the The Beatles' "Leave My Kitten Alone definitely possess cross-genre appeal.
The quality of this mix may be uneven but, like the runt of a mixed breed litter, it's hard not to find it appealing on a simple level. To say there's an audience for it seems obvious, but even non-pet types might consider investigating the site to see what other forms of fishiness are at work.
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.