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

The Playground

The Playground

1999 Music
Ages: All Ages
Performed By: Tony Bennett
ISBN: CSK 41457
CD Price: $16.98
Tape Price: $9.98
Jazz great Tony Bennett, already a hit with the MTV generation, proves there is no age limit to his appeal with this delicious collection of vocal stylings for the very young and their favorite adults. It's no celebrity phone-in, either. Bennett is in top form, along with superb musicians--Ralph Sharon on piano, Clayton Cameron on drums, Paul Langosch on bass and Gray Sargent on guitar.

The standout title cut sets the tone: jazz pianist Bill Evans' tender composition with evocative lyrics written especially for Bennett by songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman ("When I hear children at play, memories come from far away….See-saw, lifting you high, swings that let you touch the sky….").

Old Classics like "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" and "Swinging on a Star," are sparkling fresh and Bennett interacts with effortless charm with likeable guest stars Rosie O'Donnell ("Put On a Happy Face"), Kermit the Frog ("Bein' Green" and "Firefly") and Elmo ("Little Things"). Upbeat , he's dynamite; slow and soulful (especially in the evocative title song and the poignant "Make the World Your Own"), he's sublime.

Lynne Heffley   ©1999 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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