Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this album, from Disney Music and One2One Network, free of charge, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, and all opinions are my own
Remember earlier today I said da kid was going through a musical genre upswing (pun intended, LOL)?
She's really gotten into Jazz and Swing and I can't blame her, with all the great new arrangements coming out of songs her grandparents knew! So when we had the opportunity to check out a new Jazz album of DISNEY favorites, we were both ALL about it!
The music of Disney has been the soundtrack of my life, and just about everyone I know- be it the songs from the movies, hearing them on the radio, or hearing the songs at home (over and over and over, if you have young kids, LOL), multiple generations have enjoyed the songs from Disney movies. This new album features many of our favorite Disney songs recorded the way they WERE written, but that we might not have gotten to hear! Did you know that many of the early Disney songs were fashioned as Jazz songs! They were!
I don't know about you, but so much of my childhood revolved around Disney, Maybe it was because my mother was at Disneyland on opening day, that we frequented the park, that they were the first major producers of kids shows, or that Walt just put the magic in our lives, one vowel at a time, or the longest word possible! But I know my generation received a firm foundation in great music, themes and the idea of thinking ahead to what could be in 'Tomorrowland' from Walt!
I remember going to the movie theatre with my aunt, who is only 6 yrs older than me, and getting to see The Jungle Book, by ourselves it was a first- I got to go to the movies with her, and we didn't have to have an adult with us! It might have been a reissue showing, but you would never have known, as excited as we were! The movie was SO different than the Disney movies we had seen. Snow White and Cinderella were proper and civilized, but Jungle Book was wild, and fun. Who can ever forget the opening bars of "Wanna Be Like You'? As the growl turned into a jazz swing beat, we saw an echo in the world around us. How life was changing, and Disney was leading the way. We both left the theatre that day singing ALL the songs. Within days we had the album, and by month's end, no one around us could stand to hear the songs anymore! But for us, the movie would always represent a moment of togetherness, watching the world change, one melody at a time!
When Miss Grace was a baby, I would sing Bare Necessities to her. isn't it funny, the songs you remember that you sing to infants? Poor darlin got a LOT of vintage Disney and WWII (don't ask me why about those, except that dad played a lot of them and apparently I picked them up, LOL) songs. It's REALLY hard to make that song a lullaby, FYI- it has too much of an upswing and you want to shout it out loud! But she loved it, so you have to go with what works when they're that small! And I really shouldn't be surprised at the type of music she gravitates towards now either!
As Miss Grace starting growing, I was SO excited to be able to share the movie with her (I'd always made sure I had the latest technological version of it, be it VHS, DVD, etc). So when she started dancing and swinging to Louis Prima, I knew she was a mini-me, and the song would always hold a special place in her heart too. When we watched the live version, I knew what was coming, "oh no Mom. where's THE song? It's not right!" So when we heard the Hot Sardines version on this album, I wasn't sure what she would say, but she just grinned and said "YES!". Whew!
And speaking of, this album truly has a special feeling and sound to it! You can HEAR how much the artists LOVE these songs and arrangements! Artists like Anne Silva, Stacey Kent, Jamie Cullum, might not be everyday names to you, but they all have one thing in commom- superb singing skills! And they use these amazing vocal talents on this new album. Here's what Anne Silva says about the album:
"I’m lucky to be part of this beautiful album and honored to share it with artists I have admired for many years. Jazz represents a huge part of my musical path where I keep returning. Disney marked my childhood, like most children, but as an adult I still have a great taste for fairytales and imaginary. Being able to combine both in one album is fun and inspiring. The cherry on the cake was to revisit “let It go” which has been such a success the last few years. It’s a great way to discover those famous tracks and add fantasy and jazz to it. I’m proud to be part of it.”
2. Melody Gardot – "He’s A Tramp" – from Lady And The Tramp- another French influenced arrangement, it's brilliantly seductive, yet kid friendly. LOL
3. Stacey Kent – "Bibbidi Bobbodo Boo" (French version) – from Cinderella- Miss Grace wasn't too sure of the French at first, but soon, it won her over! The song will take you to Montmarte in the 60s, in 3 bars! Sigh!
4. Gregory Porter – "When You Wish Upon A Star" – from Pinocchio - even Miss Grace said this song reminded her of a classic Christmas carol- lush, full of hope and joy!
5. China Moses – "Why Don’t You Do Right" – from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?- not one of my fav Disney movies, and one Miss Grace hasn't seen yet. But China gives the song a new tilt and takes it back to 1920s jazz!
6. Raphaël Gualazzi – "I Wanna Be Like You" – from The Jungle Book- when I first started this track, Miss Grace started dancing and suddenly turned and said 'NO WAY! A GIRL version?"She may not have gotten the French, but the she got the 'attitude'. It quickly became her second fav on the album!
7. The Rob Mounsey Orchestra – "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" – from Cinderella- another lush song, just the music telling the story in full orchestrated arrangement. It's what you've probably always heard in your head!
8. Hugh Coltman – "You’ve Got A Friend In Me" – from Toy Story- I always saw this one as a Jazz standard, so hearing it in full Jazz mode was no surprise to me. Miss Grace said it had more of a NOLA feeling, and she's right!
9. Anne Sila – "Let It Go" – from Frozen- now you KNOW this had to da kid's fav, right? But I agree- I ADORE this version. While no one can truly touch the original, this one showcases the song perfectly.Think Idina combined with Vanessa Williams, and you've got Anne's version!
10. Melody Gardot & Raphaël Gualazzi – "The Bare Necessities" – from The Jungle Book- this one had Miss Grace singing along from the first note! On the second listen, we took turns singing the duet parts, and both LOVED the arrangement!
11. Laika – "Once Upon A Dream" – from Sleeping Beauty-probably our least fav song on the album, but not a bad arrangement
12 Nikki Yanofsky -"Someday My Prince Will Come" – from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs-- the poor kid said "French again?", but then I caught her twirling and dipping to the music, so I knew she was entranced by it! I can imagine someone picking this for a debut song!
13. The Hot Sardines – I Wanna Be Like You (French & English version) – from The Jungle Book (US release only)- by the time we got to this song, Miss Grace was starting to sing French lyrics! LOL. I had to laugh when she asked if she could listen to it while doing her math work. Apparently the beat helps with fractions!
As you can tell, we really can't recommend this album enough! It is just TOO fun. it's perfect for relaxing by, OR for putting on while doing housework, and becoming a French jazz singer while vaccuuming! Be sure you do NOT miss checking out this album! And it would make a killer hostess present during the holiday season too!