Dan Zanes and Friends
Festival Five Records
Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner
Available on iTunes
Dan Zanes and Friends (DZaF) have produced another intelligent, instructive and joy-filled album for families.
The well-chosen collection of classic Broadway songs opens with the rousing title track of “76 Trombones” (The Music Man). “Hello Dolly” follows, as guest Carol Channing (she can’t be 89!) and Dan perform a lively duet. Tap dancer Derick K. Grant’s extraordinary footwork can be heard on “I Can Do That,” (A Chorus Line), and the celebrated stage singer Brian Stokes Mitchell joins Zanes and crew on the friend making song “I Like Ev’rybody,” from the 1956 musical The Most Happy Fella.
“I Won’t Grow Up,” (Peter Pan) is given a nice little rock ‘n’ roll edge with drummer Colin Brooks on lead vocals, and Brooklyn-based Reggae/Ska performer Father Goose (Rankin Don) joins fellow DZaF members on a calliope-like version of “Thumbelina.” Even actor Matthew Broderick joins the fun with a folky rendition of “Before The Parade Passes By.” And Zanes and the Friends deliver a lovely version of the life affirming “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.
These seventeen songs with subtle messages of self esteem, peace and understanding, are lovingly and expertly performed, come wrapped in a fun-filled, beautifully designed and annotated CD package. And, in true DZaF style, a portion of the album’s sales will benefit Rosie’s Broadway Kids.
Review by Lahri Bond ©2010 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer and the art director for Dirty Linen: The Magazine of Folk and World Music. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.