On August 1st, 2006, Verve Records released Go Baby Go, a new CD featuring jazz interpretations of classic children’s songs and more, performed by some of the hottest names in jazz including Sharon Jones (the Dap Kings), John Medeski (Medeski Martin and Wood), and Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob). Released by Verve Records in conjunction with a new series of books by Price Stern Sloan, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, the disc and book series will share the same name.
Created by music industry veteran Andy Hurwitz, Baby Loves Music began as a way for parents to introduce their children to different genres without dumbing down the content or presentation; it’s real music played by real musicians.
Go Baby Go, which was produced by Hurwitz and Bernstein, features a number of children’s favorite songs interpreted in a variety of jazz styles. For instance, the opening number - “If You’re Happy and You Know It” - is re-imagined with a N’awlins vibe and some of the words changed to reflect the project: “If you’re happy and you know it play those drums! If you’re happy and you know it, the beats will really show it…” It’s a disc both kids and parents will love.
The album also features an unforgettable rendition of “Ten Little Monkeys” and takes “The Wheels on the Bus” on a funky trip. “Old MacDonald” is no longer a farmer here – he’s a bandleader, and the song takes stock of all the musicians in his group (“Old MacDonald had a band…”). Other songs on Go Baby Go include “I’ve Been Working on the Rail Road,” “Scat Song,” “Banana Boat Song,” and originals such as the title track. This upbeat and engaging record also includes brief interludes introducing kids to the different instruments used in jazz, such as the bass, the saxophone, and the trumpet.
Bernstein and Hurwitz called in a number of serious jazz cats to record this project. The sassy Sharon Jones and the versatile Babi Floyd (Rolling Stones, Steely Dan) trade off on vocals, backed by Bernstein on trumpet, Briggan Krauss (Sex Mob) on saxophone, Medeski on keyboards, Ben Perowsky (Dave Douglas, John Zorn) on drums, and Brad Jones (Marc Ribot, Jazz Passengers) and Lonnie Plaxico (Dizzy Gillespie, Cassandra Wilson) on bass.
Verve’s Baby Loves Jazz CD was released in conjunction with the launch of four titles in the new Baby Loves Jazz book series from Price Stern Sloan, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. The titles feature a lovable cast of familiar characters and are the perfect tool for introducing young ones to the many different aspects of jazz. Whether it is the tinkling of the piano keys, the soothing sound of the sax, the excitement of the trumpet, or the skippity-bee-bop of scat, these books subtly teach children their numbers and colors while also introducing the sounds of jazz by using words, pictures, and music from the featured CD in each book.
In addition to the CD and books, Baby Loves Jazz will also be featured in a series of short animated segments on the Cartoon Network beginning in the fall.