Recess Music, an award-winning company that strives to awaken kids to the magnificence of our planet through albums of Earth-friendly music, looks forward to the March 27release of La Bella Stella, the fifth in its “Celebrate Earth” series of CDs (Big Round Records, $12.99, for ages 4 - 11, run time 41 minutes).
Available in time for Earth Day 2012, La Bella Stella goes beyond the Earth to celebrate galaxies, solar systems, and other wonders of our universe with 15 tracks showcasing a variety of contributions by a sampling of today’s most gifted kids’ musicians, including Rocknoceros, Charity and the JAMband, andAudraRox.
The songs on La Bella Stella speak especially to those children ages four and up who have quick, engaging minds and an inveterate curiosity about life. The album is filled with music that will encourage kids to think about the natural setting of their lives, providing a much-needed balance to the “virtual” world with which many of them are occupied.
La Bella Stella opens with Maria Alley’s solid vocal styling on “Nature’s Lullaby.” This is nature appreciation with a great backbeat! The album next offers up some smooth as silk old-time jazz on “I Love the Dark,” where elegant jazz violin and a little whistling “à la Bing” enhance Tom Knight’s 1920s vocalizing. “Shooting Stars” lets Martha Johnson sing a reverie to the night sky over the mesmerizing ostinato of African thumb piano and percussion. “Galaxy Song” reduces the mysteries of the universe to a double time, upbeat lowest common denominator, with Andy Z creating terrific, high energy without high voltage guitar.AudraRox brings a bit of country rock to her dissertation on the pros and cons of “Gravity.” Set in a “cool jazz” minor key, Kenn Lonnquist’s very hip “Nocturnal” celebrates nighttime fauna with close harmony and a driving beat. Wayne from Maine offers a lunar “sha-na-na” ode to the “Man in the Moon,” while Wendy Whitten brings a late ‘70s “West Coast” gentle rock sound to “Earth’s Satellite.” The tremendously creativeRocknoceros entertains with “Pluto,” a funny, upbeat ballad in rhyming couplets about Pluto’s discovery and subsequent demotion. More celestial information is imparted in the hauntingly beautiful counterpoint ofLori & J.D. Uponen’s “Aurora Borealis.” The distinctive qualities of Mary Kaye’s “Shadow” are guaranteed to catch the ear of any kid. “Neptune Lullaby” by Dr. Planet features a sumptuously symphonic string sound, replete with strong choral singing. Banana Slug String Band’s “Safe at Home” includes strings of a more bucolic flavor, along with some great “country” vocal harmony. Laura Giosh’s “Harmony of the Spheres” likewise blends voices, strings, guitars, and percussion over an optimistic bass line. The album closes with the delightfully piquant a cappella harmony of Charity and the JAMband’s “So Long to the Day.”
The Recess Music “Celebrate Earth” series seeks to assist the cause of protecting and preserving our environment by donating a portion of the proceeds from each release to a selected environmental organization. A portion of the proceeds from La Bella Stella will benefit the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, New Hampshire, which is dedicated to educating learners of all ages by actively engaging them in the exploration of astronomy, aviation, Earth and space science.
This was my first experience to listen to the Celebrate Earth Music Series and I am so excited to have had that chance. It is a fun, folk inspired, and is perfect for play time, background music and for quiet/nap time too. My whole family enjoyed La Bella Stella, with our favorites being Safe At Home, Pluto, Nocturnal, and Neptune Lullaby (just perfect for evening). I actually found myself putting the CD on long after the girls had gone down for the evening and listening to it while I read. I will definitely be looking to purchase the other four CD's in this series in the near future. This is a fun way to teach children about Earth Day and get a variety of singers and styles in one CD. Perfect for any family, and education program out there. You can even listen to samples on the website too. One of my new favorite children's CD's so far this year!
I highly recommend this CD and give it a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: La Bella Stella is available online at Recess Music, amazon.com and its international affiliates, iTunes, and brick and mortar retailers throughout the U.S.
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La Bella Stella
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GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
***I received a complimentary copy of this CD, courtesy of Recess Music and Waldmania PR, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***