cELLAbration! A Tribute to Ella Jenkins

Music review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
cELLAbration! A Tribute to Ella Jenkins Music Poster Image
Musical play at its best.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's a gold standard for children's music -- enjoyment for the whole family in classic Ella Jenkins songs performed by well-known artists.

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  • Kids say
Parent of a 14 and 15-year-old Written byLiz Perle April 9, 2008

finally music for kids that grownups can love

run, don't walk. Put this in your cd player and drive. phew.

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What's the story?

C\"ELLA\"BRATION! A TRIBUTE TO ELLA JENKINS contains a liner note from producers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer: \"It is with love, honor, respect, and a large measure of fun that we bring together many of today's finest folk, children's, and family performers with a delightful children's choral ensemble to pay tribute to a master and mentor. Thank you, Ella.\" Performers include Tom Chapin and Pete Seeger, along with accomplished musicians and the University Park Children's Ensemble. Sweet Honey in the Rock's rich rendition of \"Did You Feed My Cow?\" draws on spiritual, gospel, and jazz. Tom Paxton's \"I Know a Tom\" -- \"Tom Thumb, Tom Sawyer, Tom Foolery,\" -- is hilarious with hand claps, mouth pops, and a little help from his grandsons.

Is it any good?

The album takes the listener around the world, from the Swahili "hello" in Red Grammer's "Jambo" to the Latin rhythms of Mariachi Los Camperos to Mike Stein's violin in "Rushing Around Russia." The productions are just right with a variety of instrumentation and nothing overdone. Jenkins' songs have light that shines through every reinvention. With a delicious mix of musical styles and cultural references, the album lifts the spirit and satisfies the ear.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ella Jenkins, considered by some to be the first lady of children's folk song, and how even with no formal music training, she has provided legacy music for our country.

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