Mu­sic for the mo­ment

Two dif­fer­ent CDs will serve lis­ten­ers well at dif­fer­ent times

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - RELIGION/COMMUNITY - Tracey Evi­son

The ti­tle, “Pi­ano Chill: Songs of Faith”, sums up a re­cent re­lease by Christo­pher Phillips from the Green Hill In­stru­men­tal Col­lec­tion.

Pro­duced by Jack Jez­zro and Greg Howard and re­leased from Bur­ton Av­enue Mu­sic, this 15track al­bum is a beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of pi­ano ren­di­tions of favourite hymns.

The CD in­cludes such fa­mil­iar ti­tles as “All Crea­tures of Our God and King,” “Amaz­ing Grace”, “Fairest Lord Je­sus”, “Be Thou My Vi­sion” and “There is Foun­tain,” just to name a few. The col­lec­tion fea­tures en­dur­ing songs of the church com­mu­ni­cated by solo pi­ano, played in a gen­tle, re­flec­tive style.

Phillips is well-known both for his “chill” pi­ano ar­range­ments and as a pi­ano in­struc­tor, both in per­son and on­line. He also has a num­ber of other al­bums in the Pi­ano Chill se­ries, in­clud­ing songs by the Gaithers, the Ea­gles and songs of Christ­mas.

While I wouldn’t choose “Pi­ano Chill: Songs of Faith” as the al­bum to best keep me awake on a long road trip, I would ab­so­lutely se­lect it to play while re­lax­ing at home, hav­ing some quiet time or vis­it­ing with friends.

An al­bum I might se­lect to help with a road trip would be a new re­lease from Cedar­mont Kids, “Lit­tle David Presents Travel Tunes: 67 Sin­ga­long Songs for Travel.” While my days of en­ter­tain­ing tod­dlers in the car have passed, I know sev­eral fam­i­lies who would ab­so­lutely be able to use this 3-CD col­lec­tion.

“Travel Tunes” in­cludes a CD of Tod­dler Tunes like “Wheels on the Bus”, “Eensy, Weensy Spi­der”, “Oh Dear! What Can the Mat­ter Be?”, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and nu­mer­ous oth­ers. The Tod­dler Ac­tion Songs CD in­cludes “Twin­kle, Twin­kle”, “The Ants Go March­ing” and “I’m Gonna Sing” and many more. The only hitch for a Canadian au­di­ence is that the third CD in this lovely col­lec­tion is Songs of Amer­ica. On that disc, how­ever, the only songs that are com­pletely ded­i­cated to our neigh­bours to the south are “Yan­kee Doo­dle”, “The StarS­pan­gled Banner”, “Amer­ica the Beau­ti­ful,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Amer­ica.”

Con­sid­er­ing there are 67 songs in the col­lec­tion, that’s not too bad.

The songs on “Travel Tunes” are all sung by chil­dren, us­ing very sim­ple, singable ar­range­ments. As well, each song ap­pears twice on each CD, once with singing and once in split­track for­mat to al­low for singing in a group. The CDs also con­tain bonus lyric sheets and ac­tiv­ity pages, ideal for young chil­dren. All in all, I would con­sider that “LIt­tle David Presents Travel Tunes” is an ideal col­lec­tion for young fam­i­lies on the go.

Tracey Evi­son, a mu­si­cian and ed­u­ca­tor on P.E.I., writes this col­umn for The Guardian ev­ery sec­ond Satur­day. She can be con­tacted by email at trevo­rand­tracey@pei.sym­pa­tico.ca.

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