Originally produced in 1985 and ‘89 by reed player/trumpeter Jon Crosse, selections feature three great tracks by the stellar vocalist Carmen McRae, accompanied by an all-star grouping of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and pianist Clare Fischer, along with stand-out soloing by versatile leader Crosse.
Shoring up the rhythm section on most numbers are Putter Smith on bass, Paul Kreibich drums and percussionist Luis Conte, whose presence puts emphasis on the Latin beat of many arrangements. Also, David Witham, piano, and Mel graves, bass, appear on some tracks.
After its original success in '86, the recording was re-released last year and garnered the Parent Choice Recommended Award. What distinguishes this CD is the originality of Crosse’s creative writing, morphing these affectionately revered childhood tunes into the realm of jazz standards.
For example, listen to Freddie Hubbard’s hot trumpet licks, followed by Smith's pulsating bass on "Hickory Dickory Dock," with the hip McRae's offbeat introduction and conclusion. In "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," Fischer plays filigrees in the background while Crosse’s tenor vibrantly complements the Afro-Cuban beat. "London Bridge" becomes a salsa shuffle to the rhythm of Fischer’s keyboard and Conte’s percussion. On this, one can see baby bouncing in his Johnny Jump-Up set.
Crosse’s haunting soprano is the keynote for L’Enfant Dors," with pianist Witham filling in beautifully in the background. The Monkish version of "Three Blind Mice" features the two, as well, with the blending of Crosse’s jagged flute notes and Witham’s piano.
Brahm’s "Lullaby" would soothe anyone with the beautiful sound of Crosse's alto, Fischer's piano and Smith's bass, while "Hush Little Baby" and "Rock-A-Bye Baby" will certainly put the kids asleep leaving parents sitting back to enjoy the serene sound.