Verve's Baby Loves Jazz: Go Baby Go! features an unexpected ensemble of New York jazz scenesters performing a mix of well-known children's songs and new compositions geared toward kids. Led by former Lounge Lizards member, trumpeter Steven Bernstein, the group also features such well-respected artists as keyboardist John Medeski, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, baritone saxophonist Briggan Krauss and others. Anyone familiar with the work of these musicians may find the notion of them making an album of children's music a bit strange, as these artists are largely known for performing edgy, often avant-garde jazz that pushes the boundaries of "tradition." However, it is just that outside-the-norm approach that makes Baby Loves Jazz so appealing. This is bumptiously funky, respectably organic and engaging music that truly aspires to get young children excited about jazz. In a deeper, more conceptual sense that means real people playing real instruments and conveying real emotions that are positive and fun. In fact, adult listeners of mainstream and experimental jazz should find much to treasure here as the musicians invest such tracks as "Happy and You Know It," "Working on the Railroad" and "Old MacDonald" with their unique styles and personalities that will be immediately recognizable to longtime fans. Brilliantly, Bernstein has allowed for both the singing of a song's melody by vocalists Sharon Jones and Babi Floyd and solos from the bandmembers while always being mindful of keeping a child engaged through rhythm. For any parents tired of insipid, "canned" children's music Baby Loves Jazz will come as an inspired antidote.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar