There are few CDs that are as much fun to listen to, no matter what your age, as the new collection of songs put together by Verve Records under the title Jazz For Kids. This set of 11 songs from 9 different artists is so much fun you’ll feel like you should hide the CD jacket when listening to it just so your friends won’t think you’ve lost your mind and reverted back to your childhood. From the opening track of Ella Fitzgerald singing a super hip and swinging version of Old McDonald, right up until the final track, Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, compilation supervisor Ken Drucker has created a fun, chic and classy disc everybody will appreciate and love.
If you give this to a child they will love singing along to a great spelling lesson, Lionel Hampton’s classic Rag Mop, Louis Prima’s too cool Yes! We Have No Bananas, and another Ella and child favorite, The Muffin Man. Adults will discover why Carmen McRae’s singing is considered by many critics to be on par with Billie Holiday on When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along, and why Blossom Dearie is regarded as a neglected gem on her Doop-Doo-De-Doop (A Doodlin’ Song).
Other classics include trumpeter Clark Terry doing his famous "mumbles" vocal routine on, appropriately enough, Mumbles, and Louis Jordan doing his now legendary, Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens. If there’s any problem with this disc it’s that it’s too short. Here in the digital era a disc of only 28 minutes and 22 seconds is almost a crime.
All of these tunes were recorded between 1941 and 1967, but they still sound as fresh today as they did when they were originally put on wax. This is one collection that would make an excellent present, no matter the occasion, to your most favorite of friends, and one which the receiver will cherish forever.