recess radio program

09/23/05
Jazz for Kids
    by John Cech

Some of the great jazz performers of the Thirties, Fourties, and Fifties featured musical numbers based on children's songs as part of their recordings and regular concerts. There was and still is something totally delightful about hearing a consummate artist like Ella Fitzgerald get down with an old nursery favorite like this:

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Or how about Slim Gaillard and His Baker's Dozen riffing the praises of that staple snack food of childhood, potato chips:

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We tend to think of jazz as adult music, and it is. But when you and your children listen to the playful tracks on this CD called Jazz for Kids, Sing, Wiggle, Clap, and Shake, you'll hear just how vital that doodling, improvisational spirit is to both jazz and our early experience of language and the sounds and rhythms that make it swing. And if nonsense is one of the ways that, as children, we begin to test the sense of the world, you probably can't find a better way to try out this experiment than by joining with Oscar Peterson and Clark Terry and their classic that's called "Mumbles":

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Copyright 2005 John Cech

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Thursday, 01-Sep-2005 12:27:44 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."