Each song is fully realized in the allotted time and is a synthesis of the artist’s particular style and appeal. A favorite is Marcy Marxer’s title song, “Hear and Gone,” a stand-alone upbeat tune that sparkles with energy. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that fabulous guitar and vocal work by yours truly on Dan Crow’s “Little Blue Chevy.” Hear & Gone in 60 Seconds is easily one of my top picks for 2003.
• Hear & Gone in 60 Seconds, various artists, Rounder Kids; $14.98 CD; www.rounder.com, 800-ROUNDER.
Anne Nachtrieb Zesiger, a San Francisco-based performer and recording artist, teacher and mother, realized a six-year labor of love, co-written with her father, lyricist H.C. Nachtrieb, with the release of Aesop For All Ages. Ten timeless fables with evergreen lessons are brought to life in a mix of styles and clever arrangements, anchored by Zesiger’s distinctively accessible voice. “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse,” “The Goose and the Golden Eggs” and “The Wind and the Sun,” among others, are given musical face-lifts, but never at the expense of the original lesson. Aesop would be proud.