>> Ella Jenkins: Get Moving (2013)

Artist: Ella Jenkins

Album: Get Moving

Genre: Kids

Label: Smithsonian/Folkways

Tracks: 15

Type: LP

Release Date: January 29, 2013

Discs: 1

Rating: 4.35 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A+

Official Site

Get Moving is a collection of 15 Ella Jenkins songs collected from various CD and DVD releases. That explains why when I threw on the CD for the first time I instantly scratched my head as to the sound quality. Most of the songs are recorded live, before a live audience of children (and more then likely their parents), and though production is fine, it did sometimes sound a bit like a closet recording on occasion.

The 15 tracks on the album are all pretty much themed the same. Jenkins sings a song that has lots of parts where children can interact by getting up and jumping and spinning around, clapping, singing along, even playing along with provided instruments. It all appears to be on the spot recordings so it’s not going to sound as polished as studio stuff, but I think this aspect gives the CD a bit more charm.

You have to give credit where credit is due. As a parent I’ve volunteered at my child’s school and given the task of herding a small group of no more then five kids at art time at their desks, on field trips to the pumpkin patch, or at a zoo. It’s not easy trying to keep that many kids under control. They want to touch everything, ask a million questions (even when the questions are purposeless), and they tend to get bored and start bating one another with taunts and teases. I have a headache just thinking about it. Jenkins doesn’t seem to have an issue with an even larger group of kids as she sings, instructs, and hands out the tasks of playing certain instruments to some children. Occasionally you’ll hear an odd word or cough or laugh off in the background, but she captivates her audience of little ones with her songs. Kudo’s there.

Get Moving, to me, isn’t going to be an album children will want to listen to alone. Remember that commercial where the guy is dressed in a cape and he’s sword fighting and making all these special effects sounds with his mouth, and as the camera slowly pans out you see he’s been sword fighting with his son and instantly he’s forgiven for looking kind of like a dork. Prepare for something similar. As a matter of fact, look forward to something similar. Your kids will love to play along with the CD, but love it even more if you jump in. Even at 36, and with my kids in their teenage years, I pointed at them and started jumping and spinning around as I listened to the CD for review. Sure, I got looks like I was crazy from my kids, but they smiled at my foolishness and that‘s the things we, as parents, live for. So throw it on and start having fun with the kids. You'll both have a great time. Enjoy.



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