76 Trombones

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
76 Trombones Music Poster Image
Kid-friendly Broadway hits deserve a standing ovation.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

"I Like Ev'rybody" gives some good advice on how to relate to other people: "You are a most happy fellow, what's your secret? I like everybody that I've ever met, I never met anybody that got me upset, no chip on my shoulder or green in my eye, and as I get older I like them more and more."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The singers from diverse backgrounds all get along, and Zanes sings about positive lessons, like assuring Thumbelina that size doesn't matter: "What's the difference if you're very small, if your heart is full of love, then you're nine feet talk...sweet Thumbelina, don't be glum."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this CD not only provides great messages and role models, but it also presents good-natured tunes in a very musically diverse way. Covering Broadway hits, this album should give young audiences a great introduction to musical theater. These aren't songs filled with platitudes and tinny music box instrumentals; instead, they're richly packed with a variety of instruments and voices. The songs should be just as appealing to grown-ups as to the kiddos.

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What's the story?

The songs on 76 TROMBONES will not immediately make you think about Broadway. After all, musicals usually have lavish instrumentals, big, over-dramatic voices, and a style that usually doesn't appeal to the toddler demographic. But even though all the songs here have Broadway roots, having been pulled from Sir Paul McCartney's MPL music catalog, the sounds are low-key and easy-going, with a folksy feel and country twang. Songs from Hello Dolly, The Music Man, Peter Pan, and Guys and Dolls all find their way onto the album, and in the process might just find a new audience, too.

Is it any good?

This is one of those rare albums that definitely transcends the "children's music" genre. These classic Broadway hits are for anyone who has ever been turned off by the over-blown singing of musical theater. Here, without a lot of production, the songwriting shines through, and even those familiar with the tunes might not recognize them at first. Dan Zanes' comfortable, folksy style also has dynamic depth, and the instrumentals, like a favorite blankie, wrap the vocals in an extra layer of coziness. Stand-out tracks include a Spanish lullaby version of "Tomorrow," the parade-inspiring title track, and "Hello Dolly," which is given a country swing here. This children's album surely deserves a standing ovation!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about getting along with others. The song "I Like Everybody" presents a man who likes everyone all the time. Although this is admirable, do you think it is possible? What should you do when you get mad at someone? Can you think of some ways you can get along better with your siblings and friends?

  • The song "Inch Worm" talks about measuring things in life. What can you measure? Do you keep track of your height? How else can you show that you have grown? Parents, how can you help your kids grow to be media savvy?

  • This album presents many different musical styles, instruments, and voices. What are some other ways to learn about new types of music? How about experimenting with your own musical abilities? Can you try to play different styles of music, like country, rock, jazz, and swing? Can you get some other family members to join in on the fun?

Music details

For kids who love to dance

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