Sep 022016
 

My kids love music. They play the music we have in our collection (as I’ve written before, Babe’s fave these days is Tom Petty, while Bug leans toward Bob Marley). They make music with the instruments we have at home, whether it’s a drumkit, glock, trumpet, guitar or ukelele. And both kids have their own CD collection of music made just for children.

Some of their faves include Raffi and Lisa Loeb. Montreal’s Jennifer Gasoi is at the top of 5.5 year old Babe’s list. We saw Jennifer perform a couple years ago at Montreal’s Folk Fest where we bought Her Grammy-winning Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well. We listened to it every single time we were in the car for about a month. Then it sadly and mysteriously went missing.
blue and redWhen I saw The Secret Mountain (who never dissapoints) was publishing a book of Jennifer‘s songs, called Blue and Red Make Purple: A musical journey with Jennifer Gasoi, I was so excited to offer it to my kids. And I think any parent who sees it will likely feel the same.
There are 12 songs on this new Storybook-CD, most of which are on the one we lost. A few of them also come from Jennifer’s first album, Songs for You. Babe was thrilled to rediscover some of her favourites, “All Join Hands” and especially “Purple Man.” It’s definitely her favourite on this new CD. The very last words of the very last song, are from the Purple Man himself (voice by the super-talented Patrick Vetter), saying, ”Blue and red make purple!” The perfect name for a Storybook-CD. In this song, listeners get to hear a variety of musical genres in a pretty purple package.
As she grows, my girl’s attention span does too, but I was admittedly very impressed as she sat in a chair and listened to the entire 34-minute CD, changing the pages with the change of every song. And then, she wanted to do it again.
Photo by Philove

Photo by Philove

The pages of this book are so so so beautifully illustrated by the talented Steve Adams, who illustrated one of our family’s all-time favourite books, The Boy Who Grew Flowers (Barefoot Books).

The pages at the back of the book might be by favourite part, where kids can learn about blues, jazz, calypso, folk, klezmer, Dixieland, gospel, Cajun and bluegrass. This part of the book is so precious to me. Styles and genres indentification comes up a lot in our house as like, the funnest game ever. Papa (aka Michel Berthiaume) is a jazz musician, and we’re always listening to jazz, rock, R&B, pop, classical… Babe is already able to identify a lot of these things are her own, but the pages of this book lets us go even deeper with the musical education. In these paragraphs, there is also an explaination of each of the songs, and questions like, Can you identify the kind of horn playing the solo? and Can you identify the theme of Baby Blue?
I was impressed to learn that Jennifer wrote the text for these pages, in addition to writing and producing all the music on the CD. She’s backed up by some of the city’s finest musicians, including John Sadowy, Rich Irwin on drums and Ron Dilauro on trumpet. The tuba player, Chris Smith, is quite possibly my daughter’s first crush.
When I ask Babe to help me review this CD she said, “She sings good, like Katy Perry.” Hey, everyone’s intitled to their own opinion!
Blue and Red Make Purple is set for release on October 1st. Watch this blog for an exclusive interview with Jennifer, and a giveaway of this awesome new CD.

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