Night Songs & Lullabies

Music review by
Shana Kirk, Common Sense Media
Night Songs & Lullabies Music Poster Image
An album as warm and fuzzy as an old teddy bear.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a mix of soothing jazz and traditional lullabies.

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What's the story?

Jazz vocalist Kim Scanlon takes the art of the lullaby to a new level in this unique offering. Recorded shortly before the birth of her daughter, it has an unmistakably personal touch that makes you close your eyes and sigh from the very first song. All of the songs are dreamy and imaginative, and each sets the stage for dancing sugarplums in its own way.

Is it any good?

On the first song, "The Starlighter," Scanlon sings in a voice so much in unison with the lone guitar that it's hard to tell which is which. This tune, as well as Duke Ellington's "Warm Valley," relies heavily on tasteful instrumental accompaniment and vocalizations (as opposed to constant lyrics). This approach makes these songs great storybook accompaniment.

Scanlon rarely sings in full voice, opting instead for a sotto voce, almost whispering style which is nicely suited for singing to young children. Covering a wide range of jazzy styles, the recording also provides an opportunity to introduce children to such standard tunes as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Moon River." A couple of tunes have instructive themes: "Pajamas" provides a nice incentive to get that bedtime step out of the way, and "Inchworm" is a classic counting song.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about lullabies. What kind of music is good for winding down at the end of the day? Talk about tempo, volume, and rhythm.

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