This is a lesson I should have learned long ago, but alas, 'tis not so. I got this CD by a band calling themselves unfortunately Baby Loves Jazz. The CD is called Go Baby Go! Computer-generated animals with instruments on the front in the brightest colors imaginable prevented me from listening to it. That's it, to the right. I just don't feel it.
Then as I was making a pile of CDs to get rid of (I know, I told you) I noticed the tiny Verve logo. Verve? I looked inside to see what this was, thinking it was going to be a compilation of Verve artists doing songs that were vaguely childlike and that would have been okay. But I was still wrong.
Baby Loves Jazz is a band made up of stellar musicians: the bitchin' Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings; John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood; Babi Floyd soul-swing singer and songwriter; Ben Perowsky, drummer with John Zorn; Lonnie Plaxico who has played bass with greats like Dexter Gordon, Art Blakely and Mr. Chet Baker and modern artists such as Cassandra Wilson; Briggan Krauss the sax player in Sex Mob and Good Kitty who has played with every NYC avant jazz artist around, he's even played in the Hal Wilner / Leonard Cohen project; and it's all led by Steven Bernstein, also of Sex Mob, and the Millennial Territory Orchestra. Pedigree people.
The songs are mostly of the nursery variety but yeah, they're elevated. Even my oft-jaded five year old was into their versions of "Old MacDonald" and "Working on the Railroad" (and from the get-go, no warm-up necessary) because they are lively, raucous with enough of a new spin to make them worthwhile and fun even for -- ugh! -- those jaded five year old ears. And there are a few new tunes here as well.
Baby Loves Jazz, "Ten Little Monkeys"
And because much of the Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings is ideal for kids, here is a song from her CD, I think from last year.
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, "This Land is Your Land" (mp4)
Buy the Baby Loves Jazz CD
I love the SoftLightes and not just because we're friends with tickle-Kristian. This is a band that has a unique playful sound that is so sweet and gooey and yet a touch subversive. I think the music is ideal for kids and adults alike. Can't recommend them enough. Here is their latest video, also good for the kids--