Music Reviews

The Giggling Dragon, Dan Crow, Allshouse Family Entertainment, 2005; $15 CD;

The Peter Pan of children’s music, Dan Crow has released his latest CD, The Giggling Dragon. And, if the music industry – in its great wisdom – had a children’s music chart, this one would have entered at No. 1 with a bullet.

Thousands of children and their caregivers worldwide have enjoyed the Dan Crow experience: a man and his guitar with a million tunes and a key to what folks find very funny. And, yes, if you take a closer listen, kids are getting a vocabulary lesson in a fun engaging way.

The Giggling Dragon is a different approach for Crow. It features lush orchestrations and arrangements, and a big Nashville sound thanks to producer Dennis Scott. The songs about dragons, gnomes, pixies, trolls, giants, imagination and books are pure Dan Crow, however – clever, funny and finely constructed uplifting musical adventures that will tickle your eardrums.

Jazz Baby – Sessions 1-3, various artists, Casablanca Kids, 2005; $9.99 each CD;

What do you do as a producer of mainstream jazz CDs when you have children and look for music that will satisfy both the parents and kids? Go to Disneyland? Perish the thought! Lisa Beth Kovetz chose a road less traveled and created the Jazz Baby series that weaves classic children’s music and folk songs with hip jazz arrangements. It’s all embroidered with performances by Janis Siegel (of Manhattan Transfer fame), Freddy Cole (brother of Nat King Cole), Cybil Shepard, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, Megan Mullally, Jim Belushi and Rosemary Clooney, among many other talented performers. The music is fresh and invigorating.

“The idea for Jazz Baby was simple,” says Kovetz, “high-quality music parents can share with their children.” And the proof is in the pudding.

John Wood