Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



African Playground

African Playground

Fall 2003 Music
Ages: 8 & Up
CD Price: $15.98
Review:
This superb album includes 13 songs from 10 African countries, each one unique in language and sound. Indigenous African instruments enrich the flavor and texture of each song. From traditional drumming to the ethereal harp-like sounds of the 28 string valiha, these are instruments and sounds that many American children may never have heard before. Likewise, the voices of the singers are incredibly varied, from stunning ensemble harmonies to joyous hoots, shouts and clicks. It would be difficult to pick a representative piece to describe: there’s the infectious start-and-stop syncopation of “Jambo Bwana” from Kenya; the rippling melody of “Barco di Papel” from Cape Verde; and the collision of everyday sounds from which the lovely melody of Sangoma (South Africa) gradually emerges. Extensive liner notes describe the culture of each nation, the instruments used, or the content of the songs. Listening to this is to discover the strong and vibrant roots from which much of our “American” music sprang.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2003 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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Putumayo World Music
1-212-460-0095
http://www.putumayo.com
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000087DRR/parentschoice-20

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