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    21st May 2013: UK Jazz Journalist of the Year writes about Jazz for Babies + Great All About Jazz Review

    We’re only a couple of weeks away from the launch of our first 5 albums and the press so far has been fantastic. We’ve just learned that Rob Adams, Parliamentary Award Winning jazz journalist of the year in the UK for the year 2013 has written about our music in the Scotland Herald. Here’s a snapshot of what he said:

    It’s never too early to introduce children to music and extensive research has shown that music, particularly jazz containing improvisation, can help encourage creativity and individuality in the young. It’s with this in mind that father, bassist and record label owner Michael Janisch has launched Jazz for Babies, a series of CDs featuring piano, guitar, vibraphone, trumpet and saxophone playing calm and soothing lullabies from the jazz songbook. Among the musicians involved is the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s pianist, Steve Hamilton, who features on all of the first five releases which are available on Whirlwind Recordings from June 10. No more computerised baby music or music boxes, these are real instruments played by leading musicians and the music can be bought on physical CDs or digitally, on complete albums or by individual tracks. For further information, log onto http://www.jazzforbabies.org/

    And a great review of The Guitar Album has just hit from the world’s biggest jazz site: All About Jazz, which we also reprint below.

    Michael Janisch – The Guitar Album – Jazz for Babies

    Just what is the target demographic for a typical jazz album? Twenty to thirty year-olds? Forty to sixty year-olds? Anyone with enough spare cash to buy a copy? This series of recordings from bassist Michael Janisch makes its target audience perfectly clear both in the title—Jazz For Babies—and in the bottom left of the rather snazzy album cover, where a brown circle boldly states “In Utero to 3 years +.”

    Janisch has put together a set of five albums under the broad umbrella of Jazz For Babies and released them on his own Whirlwind Recordings label. Inspired by his own daughter Eliza, Janisch’s aim was to create lullaby versions of favorite tunes, performed on acoustic instruments. Jazz For Babies: The Guitar Album epitomizes his approach of taking a selection of classic tunes, keeping the melodies at their heart, simplifying the arrangements just a little and getting some world-class musicians to perform them and add some of their own improvisations.

    Janisch and pianist Steve Hamilton appear on all five albums, including their duo recording, The Piano Album. The rest are trio outings, each devoted to a different lead instrument— Jim Hart’s vibes, Jay Phelps’ trumpet, Paul Booth’s saxophone and, on this recording, Phil Robson’s guitar.

    Robson’s gentle acoustic guitar playing lends itself perfectly to these tunes, either as the lead instrument or as backing to Hamilton’s piano. The resulting music is rather delightful; proper music that will open up a young child’s experience of this particular art beyond repetitive tales of wheels on buses or the destruction of green bottles. “Stardust” sounds positively refreshed by Robson’s delicate backing, while “You Are My Sunshine” is gorgeous, Janisch’s arco bass adding a touch of pathos to an otherwise upbeat collection.

    Many of these tunes appear more than once across the five albums—”God Bless The Child” and “A Child Is Born” appear on every one—making choice of lead instrument rather than song selection crucial in delineation. It’s also strange to see that there are no composer credits on any of the album sleeves. This may leave a few mums and dads floundering when the more curious young listeners demand to know who made up these tunes.

    Jazz For Babiesis grown-up jazz for little people; it should readily achieve its short-term goal of soothing and relaxing a tired toddler—and it may just kick-start a love of the music that’ll last a lifetime.

    Track Listing: A Child Is Born; Somewhere Over The Rainbow; You Are So Beautiful; Nature Boy; Georgia On My Mind; Embraceable You; Overjoyed; Body And Soul; God Bless The Child; Imagination; When You Say Nothing At All; The Very Thought Of You; Moonlight In Vermont; Stardust; You Are My Sunshine.

    Personnel: Phil Robson: nylon and steel string guitars; Steve Hamilton: piano; Michael Janisch: double bass.


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