Swing Set

Performed by Jazzy Ash. CD. 34 min. Leaping Lizards Music. 2017. $13.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 3—The follow-up to Jazzy Ash's delightful album, Bon Voyage. Following years of research into traditional African American songs and rhymes, Ash settled upon the 14 tunes gathered here. Each track is at least 90 years old and has been newly arranged for today's children. This collection includes the folk songs "Li'l Liza Jane," and "Hambone," updated versions of "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain" and "When the Saints Go Marching In," the lullaby "All the Pretty Little Horses," and the traditional spiritual "Down By the Riverside." Interspersed with the songs are traditional playground songs such as "Miss Mary Mack," "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear," and "Head and Shoulders, Baby." The New Orleans jazz sound really shines on "Sister Kate," "Everybody Loves My Baby," and "Ballin' the Jack," while listeners are treated to a bit of Louisiana French Creole on the fantastic "Eh La Bas." Backed by a stellar group of musicians, Ash's full, rich voice is the perfect accompaniment for this unique collection of songs. A children's chorus is added to many of the tracks, which only increases the depth of the music.
VERDICT An entertaining yet extremely important musical history lesson. A must-have for all collections.

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