Chick Corea began writing his Children's Songs in 1971 and recorded the complete set of 20 in 1984. There's nothing inherent in the piano miniatures to indicate that they are especially for children. They aren't written for children to perform, because while they are musically straightforward, they are technically and interpretively far from easy. Most of them last between one and two minutes. The set is nicely varied in mood and style; some pieces are recognizably jazz-inspired and some are reminiscent of the more accessible movements of the Ligeti etudes. All of them, whether playful or wistful, have a gentle, generous tone that should appeal to people of all ages, not only children. While they communicate with an uncomplicated directness, they are structurally and harmonically sophisticated, and in no way water down the inventiveness for which Corea is known. The composer plays them with fluidity and grace. The album also includes Corea's Addendum, a whimsical and graceful trio for violin, cello, and piano that Ida Kavafian, Fred Sherry, and the composer play with lightness and charm. ECM's sound is characteristically stellar, absolutely clean, and present.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins