A Cheerful Little Earful (Hamilton)
I’m always appreciative when I come across an album recorded for children that doesn’t aim down at them. Children have absorbent minds, capable of much more than most adults give them credit for, and jazz is something that they absolutely can appreciate and enjoy.
Canadian singer Diana Panton has assembled a collection of standards that will please ears of every age. Her vocal style reminds me of Madeleine Peyroux, an obvious thru-line to Billie Holliday. “Red Red Robin” sounds playful and happy, as does Ira Gershwin’s “Cheerful Little Earful.” Panton’s secret weapon is Don Thompson, a first-rate acoustic bassist doubling melody lines on piano and vibes.
I suspect that even jaded, diehard jazz enthusiasts will enjoy every second of this. It’s a really nice example of a great singer picking the perfect songs to fit her voice and accompanying players.