Jazz with Book

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—Karen Ehrhardt's lively retelling (Harcourt, 2006) of the traditional song, "This Old Man," introduces nine African-American jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, and Charlie Parker. For example, "This jazz man, he plays four/He conducts em through the score," is conductor and composer Duke Ellington. The musicians are identified by name in the back matter, where Ehrhardt provides biographical information about each one. The book perfectly captures the loose, improvisational rhythms of jazz. The CD enriches the experience with music and lively narration by James "D Train" Williams. The bright, bopping jazz score presents the creative energy of this most American of musical forms. The soundtrack also nods to the stars featured in the book. For instance, jazz man number seven is bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie. Adult jazz aficionados will recognize riffs on his classic "A Night in Tunisia" in the background as Williams reads about him. R.G. Roth's collage illustrations are seamlessly integrated with the audio component. Each performer's signature sound is represented in bright, colorful letters that span their double-page spreads. In this package, text, art, and sound work together to create meaning. Roth's bright palette also underscores the lively energy of the text and of the music it celebrates. An outstanding selection for classroom units or library programs about music or African-American history and culture.—Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY
School Library Journal

K-Gr 5 -Recess Monkey, a musical group of three elementary school teachers from Seattle, WA,worked with students/summer campers who helped write, compose, and perform this epic concept album. Alternating storytelling and music tracks, Penelope, the narrator, melodramatically moves the story forward while Recess Monkey lingers on the details. The story begins when Everett the Wonderbee learns that the Magical Meadow has been covered by the Gray. Harold the Rat agrees to help Everett. Tragedy nearly strikes when the two fall into the river, but they are saved by Sammie the Turtle, who joins them on their quest. When the three friends reach the Gray, Harold abandons the group. Everett and Sammy are then sucked into the Gray where they meet a spider, who arms them with crumpets in their tummy and a Golden Seed to use when battling the Gray. The two adventurers are reunited with Harold, who has both the Golden Seed and a Magic Carpet of Wonderbees. The trio plant the Golden Seed, and its roots destroy the Gray. The area under the tree turns the ground green, and the meadow is saved. There are 19 songs interspersed in the story that carry messages. Standouts include "Backpack" (an upbeat tune about every kid's necessary catch-all), "Dona't Want to Go to Bed" (a soft rock song about the desire to stay up late at night), and "Best Friend" (a synthesized pop number). An admirable production, though its use may be limited because of its alternating story and song format.-Stephanie Bange, Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OH

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430100225
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.92 (w) x 11.35 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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