cELLAbration: A Tribute to Ella Jenkins

cELLAbration: A Tribute to Ella Jenkins

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Overview

cELLAbration: A Tribute to Ella Jenkins

Leading children's music performer Ella Jenkins had been recording for the Folkways or Smithsonian Folkways labels for almost half a century by the time this tribute album was released in 2004. While it's true the artist lineup contains several of the usual suspects from the folkie children's music world (Cathy Fink, Tom Paxton, Tom Chapin, Pete Seeger), it's obvious that a great deal of care was taken in making this a record that could hold up under its own merits, rather than a more common throwaway homage project. All of the songs were performed at some point by Jenkins in her own repertoire, and in addition to the usual kiddie folk singalongs, there are ventures into less expected arrangements -- gospel (Sweet Honey in the Rock, who make children's music about as soulful as it's going to get), Latin (Michele Valeri's "Dulee, Dulee"), cowboy (Riders in the Sky's "Let's All Sing a Yodeling Song"), and mariachi (Mariachi los Camperos' "La Raspa/Fiesta de Niños"). Rock and soul fans might be surprised to hear lyrics quite similar to those in Rufus Thomas' "Walking the Dog" in Sweet Honey in the Rock's "Go Miss Mary Mack"; Paxton throws in an amused reference to himself in "I Know a Tom"; and while Seeger's voice is almost worn out on "The World Is Big, the World Is Small," he gets a lot of needed help from a robust actual children's chorus. As with virtually all tribute albums, many might prefer to hear these done by the original artist, but for a tribute collection the arrangements are more diverse than usual, and for those who care about such things, the sound quality and production clarity are better than they are on many of Jenkins' own recordings. The result is superior to both the standard tribute album and the standard children's record.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/2004
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074505922
catalogNumber: 45059
Rank: 251712

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