Friday, May 16, 2014

Sarah Gardner: Jazz For Babies

I have been a fan of the Appalachia-based sounds of Red Molly since they formed in 2004.  One of the founding members, Abbie Gardner, is part of an incredibly talented, musical family.

Her father, Herb "Pops" Gardner, is a well-known and highly-regarded jazz musician (trumpet, piano, trombone, clarinet, saxophone) in New York, who has performed with virtually every name in jazz a person could think of over the past 50 years.

Abbie's sister, Sarah Gardner, is also an exceedingly talented musician in her own right.  After performing in rock and jazz bands, Sarah became a mom and turned to teaching and performing music for children.  She tours in this capacity, as well.

Sarah Gardner has just released a CD, "Jazz Pour Le Bebes (Jazz For Babies)," that is a 14 track collection of jazz classics such as "Baby Face," "Hello Dolly," "Pennies From Heaven," and some great, recent Red Molly songs like "My Baby Loves Me" and "Hello Goodbye."  She has found that, for a variety of reasons, the songs speak to children, gets them moving and brings about loads smiles and laughter.

But this is no CD just for children; do not be deceived by the title.  If you love jazz performed by top-flight musicians, and you should, this is definitely something every adult has to have in their collection.  With Sarah on lead vocals, the CD also features "Pops" on trombone, piano and cowbell, Abbie providing background vocals, Ted Casher on sax and clarinet, Craig Akin on standup bass, slapfiddle and electric bass, Bill Winiker on trumpet, and Joe Hart on guitar.

"Jazz Pour Le Bebes" is filled with the finest musicianship you will come across, jazz or otherwise.  If you have kids, having them not want to "switch the music" will be a nice bonus.  In the meantime, kids or not, you are going to be tapping your feet, bobbing your head and having a good time.   

As Sarah states:  "Administer by ear daily.  Repeat as needed.  May cause addiction in some people."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Poem: Round Pegs

Round Pegs

Finding the answers is forever elusive
Questions can linger; denial’s conclusive
Surrounded by laughter yet alone in the void
Inevitably given, any hope is destroyed
Passersby linger for a moment’s reprieve
But passersby pass; by definition they leave
Some offer wisdom, say the time is at hand
As if snapping of fingers brings the dream on demand
Others, a promise in their smiles and words
At the end of the day not a voice can be heard
So build a safe mask to convey the false picture
Lie to the thoughts to constrain the self-stricture
When push comes to shove, all the shoves push the limit
Clock has been stuck on this singular minute
Deserve so much better but no solace admits
Stuck with round pegs; into square they’ll not fit

Copyright SGW 2012