Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Doug Beavers Rovira Jazz Orchestra: Jazz, Baby!

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 1.3.08
Buy CD: Jazz, Baby!

Now, here's a neat idea: big band jazz arrangements of classic children's tunes, and I do mean kiddy stuff. Think "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Hush Little Baby" and more of that ilk. 

Not that you'd start moppets out with this album, but once they've been exposed to simple melodies by mom and/or dad, they'd be ready to graduate to this swinging album. In keeping with a child's attention span, each tune is kept short, and the familiar lyrics are maintained. Only the interpretation has been changed. 

The band consists of five saxes; four trumpets; six trombones, including a euphonium and tuba; and a rhythm section made up of piano, bass, drums, guitar, banjo and vibes/xylophone/glockenspiel (!). Vocalists handle the lyrics for each tune. 

The arrangements are clever and cute, and they all swing. I suspect adults will listen to this CD just as much as the kids. Aside from exposing the little ones to actual jazz, the album will entertain parents while they chase the children around the house. 

It's also a great conversation piece. If jazz radio gives it air time, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned into a big hit for Origin Arts . 

Finally, the liner insert is darling ... and the song lyrics are included, in case you've forgotten them. 

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