Sunday, January 14, 2007

***Little Miss Ann***

OK, we all know the superpop kids' album thing can be done, and done well (see Morgan Taylor's Gustafer Yellowgold, Doug Snyder's the Jellydots, Lee Feldman's STARBOY, etc.). So, after hearing several amazing records geared toward, say, six- to ten-year-olds, it's refreshing to find a nice little CD like this. Little Miss Ann's Music for Tots is exactly that: tunes your littlest music fans can recite, sing with and dance along to.

Ann Torralba is an alumnus of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, home of the Wiggleworms children's music programs and creator of three CDs chock full of traditional folk songs. Torralba and her husband have recorded an album of songs that are really ... well, for lack of a better term, groovy, but I mean that in the best way possible. The production is very warm and intimate, and there are lots of killer harmonies. Think Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention with less elaborate instrumentation and simpler vocal arrangements.

The album begins with Torralba's quietly welcoming "Hello", and follows with Arthur Hamilton's "Sing a Rainbow" from the movie Pete Kelly's Blues, but Torralba's arrangement, I swear, could have been a soda pop commercial in the early 70s. Next is "Pirate Ship", a great Toddler Time movement song; then comes Torralba's funky "Dance with Your Daddy", and a completely original arrangement of Jimmie Davis' "You Are My Sunshine".

The silly "Edamame", based on the traditional "I Had a Rooster", offers an international buffet for the listener (who knew tortillas and latkes grew on trees?), and the simple but extremely catchy adaptation of "There's a Little Wheel" coulda been a hit for Linda Ronstadt back in the mid-70s. The album ends with Torralba's "Moon Jelly", Elizabeth Cotton's "Freight Train", and the traditional "Golden Slumbers".

This is a cozy and fun CD worthy of any preschooler's music collection. Get one for their daycare or Kindergarten classroom, as well. I think they'll dig it.


Anonymous said...

Right on! Miss Ann was my daughter's teacher at Old Town School until we moved. Listening to her CD lets us bring a little Miss Ann wherever we go. She has a gift for making kid's music fun and very adult friendly, in part due to her original voice (actually reminds me of Kirsten Hersh a bit from Throwing Muses) and daring arrangements. My daughter asks for this CD all the time. You will love it, too...Recommended!

Anonymous said...

This is a great CD! Not only do I enjoy listening to the tunes in the car with the kids, but I often find myself enjoying the songs when they're not in the car, too. Several songs have influential undertones from The Beatles and Donovan, among others.

A sure hit with the kids.

guillermo said...

My daughter loves this cd (me too!). I'm glad we got got it! It's my secret weapon when she gets tired of being in the car.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter is all about LMA! This CD has fast become her favorite (and we never thought anyone would top Ralph!) in the car and in the kitchen... Cannot recommend this highly enough!

We were lucky enough to have Little Miss Ann sing at our daughter's first birthday party two years ago; she has a big fan club in our neck of the woods!

Anonymous said...

My kids absolutely love going to the Little Miss Ann Band concerts at Beat Kitchen! What an amazing band and venue - lots of open space for the kids to dance and sing! What a happy and fun family-oriented experience! I hope that they play there again soon.

How do you find out about her entertaining at parties? How did you get in touch with her? My daughter would LOVE to have Little Miss Ann sing at her birthday!

Warren Truitt said...

Ann's website is, I'm sure her contact info is listed there.

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