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Kinderjazz – Teddy Bear’s Picnic

This “one-of-a-kind” swing band aims to open up children to the fun world of jazz, swing, and big band music.

Teddy Bear's Picnic Front CoverIt’s certainly a fascinating and ambitious project. Thankfully, the team behind it all are all experienced musicians based in Australia, and there are already some award nominations lining up.

Opening track ‘Arabella’ is packed to the brim with a Latin feel, while title track ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ looks back to some old school smoky jazz. Add to that the humour of making use of a classic children’s melody, and you’ve got a recipe for some music that will cheer up the kids and most likely get the grown ups bopping. Let’s not ignore the slightly surreal nature of the album – outside of the context of its being aimed for the most part at children, it’s hard to know exactly where to place it.

There’s a strong sense of consistency, and the production values are to be applauded. So often when music is aimed at younger audiences corners are cut, but not here, which shows a degree of care and passion amongst the band. ‘Razzmatazz’ offers a spiralling, almost lunatic chunk of giddy jazz, throwing in a few one liners along the way, while the album’s closing track ‘Signals From Outer Space’ moves into an ambitious piece of spoken word laced with some hip free jazz piano chords. Certainly an ideal way to open the little ones up to a broader knowledge of what kinds of music is out there.

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