I love starting my Mondays reviewing music for Music Mondays, so much so that when we fall in love with a soon-to-be released cd, it plays all day long on repeat. And that’s exactly the case for Oran Etkin’s newest cd, “Wake Up Clarinet!”
Jazz artist and composer, Oran Etkin, who has a penchant for making jazz music accessible and engaging for families, is set to release Wake Up Clarinet tomorrow, September 14. His first family release, spotlights his Timbalooloo Method which is described as “conveying sophisticated concepts in a fun musical language that all kids can understand.” There’s much to be said about introducing young kids to jazz music and the soothing sounds of woodwinds and much more.
While Etkin is the lead vocalist and plays the clarinet and sax, the band adds an flavorful background. The band features Jason Marsalis on drums, soulful vocals from Charenee Wade, Fabian Almazan on piano, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone and Garth Stevenson.
In the title track, Wake Up Clarinet, Etkin cleverly personifies the clarinet, starting with a soft, soothing intro that crescendos to “Clara’s” awakening. As his clarinet then sings and echos the rhythmic patterns of his lyrics, it further demonstrates his Timbalooloo method. With a musically-obsessed kid, I absolutely love the idea of his method, not to mention the super cute story behind the origin of the word.
Over the spring, our family had a chance to check out Etkin at a show at the Scholastic Soho, which promoted his inclusion as one of the featured artists on the Putumayo Kids Jazz Playground cd. There’s nothing quite like sitting in an auditorium full of kids screaming for soulful sounds and singing along to songs such as “Eh Las Bas,” which is also track six on the Wake Up Clarinet! Many of the kids in the audience knew many of Etkin’s songs because of his popular NYC music classes which are said to be endorsed by celebs such as Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber (whom we saw at the aforementioned show.)
What’s so unique about Etkin’s new cd is that it’s a departure from the blaring sugary kiddie pop music reflected on infomercials and the like. “Wake Up Clarinet!” has a fresh, fun vibe, complete with soulful vocals and jam worthy songs that can also tastefully reside on mom and dad’s playlist.
The nine-track cd,”Wake Up Clarinet!” from Oran Etkin, debuts on September 14 and features a bonus music video. Want to hear the new cd? Check it out here.