recess radio program

Nicky's Jazz for Kids
    by John Cech

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That's Nat King Cole and the King Cole Trio, with the elegant nonsense of "The Magic Song," from a new CD called Nicky's Jazz for Kids. We don't usually associate jazz with kids, but it is, of course, a musical style that children are very close to. Like jazz muscians, they're at home with immediate, present-moment performance, mistakes and all, with improvisation, experiment, and the possibilities of playing with sounds. Just ask any child (or Ella Fitzgerald), and they'll tell you all about swing:

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This compilation is full of gems like these, from a many of Jazz's great performers -- Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Peggy Lee, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway. And no first party for jazz would be complete without Louis Armstrong, whose celebration of the act of music-making itself lifts the young listener to a new height:

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Copyright 2004 John Cech

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January 2004
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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."