Children's jazz is one of those Russian nesting doll scenarios – the primary genre is music. The subgenre is family. The smaller doll is children. And inside that you find jazz. Right now, there are a number of artists promoting jazz music for kids – Cat Doorman, Lori Henriques, Jazzy Ash, and Lucy Kalantari.
With her new CD, BIG THINGS, Kalantari uses a lush Roaring Twenties sound for some sui generis concepts – "Love You Always," "Birthday," and "My Neighbor" come to mind. She even works in some calliope music with "Balloon." Opening track "Fantastic" won the Independent Music Award for Children's Music Song.
Lucy's voice (and instrumentation) is like a gramophone playing from the past. And that's far from being an insult. I grew up watching the Little Rascals. Lucy's music harkens me back to watching those dangerously-unsupervised children careen down a steep hill on a homemade fire truck. Again, that's far from being an insult.
With her strong, friendly voice (and purple hair), Lucy immediately sets a welcoming tone. And her accomplished band, including opera singer Adelmo Guidarelli and cellist Jessica McWilliams, flesh out period-appropriate arrangements that stand out from traditional toddler fare. BIG THINGS has been available for a few months but it sounds like it's been around for years. Kalantari is a Millennial Era chanteuse and there are not enough of them. For the record and for the last time this blog post, that's far from being an insult.
BIG THINGS is available from Lucy's website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.
Here is a video for her song, "Our Garden":