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Mister Rogers Swings!

5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 12, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Collectors Edition CD Package:

Limited Pressing featuring individually numbered, hand assembled jackets with die-cut cover, vintage vinyl-look CD, souvenir postcard and protective resealable polypropylene bag.

It s Cocktail Time in Mister Rogers Neighborhood.... Mister Rogers Swings! includes your favorite Fred Rogers tunes interpreted in a sophisticated swingin' jazz style.

Album of sixteen tunes features Boots Randolph in one of his last sessions, Stuart Duncan, Richard Smith and the Lori Mechem Trio backing vocalist Holly Yarbrough in her solo debut.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 12, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vintage Discs
  • ASIN: B001BTZO28
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Although I'm an avid music listener and record collector, let me start by saying that vocal jazz is not my thing. This recording, however, is like a breath of fresh air -- it's surprisingly good and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys easy-listening/vocal jazz.

Most people would never recognize these songs as coming from Fred Roger's decade-spanning children's PBS program. No matter -- the songs and arrangements are high quality and Ms Yarbrough's voice-- a bit reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald-- is perfect for these refreshingly simple, heartfelt lyrics and lovely melodies.
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It sounds crazy at first - sincere jazz versions of songs from "Mister Rogers"? But trust me, on Mister Rogers Swings! (Vintage Discs), Holly Yarbrough is Ella Fitzgerald teleported into the age of Gwen Stefani. Her angelic voice and perfect phrasing shine through on tracks like It's You I Like and Look & Listen. Yarbrough's take on Many Ways to Say I Love You is so timeless; you could imagine your grandparents slow-dancing to this back in the day. As real jazz goes, it does not get any better than this.
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I have to say that this CD exceeded my expectations. I recently visited the Fred Rogers Center in Latrobe, PA so his music has been on my mind ever since. I couldn't be more thrilled to add this to my Mr. Rogers collection! The songs are fun and recognizable, jazzy, and the woman does a wonderful job singing them. This is a CD that parents can listen to with their children. It can be put on repeat on long rides without wanting to throw yourself out of the car like with some other children's CDs (think Kidz Bop)! I would recommend this CD to the Mr. Rogers jazz fan!

Additionally, the packaging is very cute. It is a cardboard, die-cut circle around the shoes pictured, and the inside contains a sendable post card, and a CD that resembles a vinyl record. The vintage design is great, and would make a great gift or collectible item for the Mr. Rogers fan in your life (or for yourself)!

Obviously, I made a great purchase!
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Who knew? Mister Rogers Swings!

It's the truth. Yarbrough has taken sixteen songs from the Fred Rogers songbook and done them proud. And they all swing.

Now, "swing" is a term that needs definition in this case, since the word sometimes carries a connotation of fast rhythms and blaring horn charts. You won't find much of that here. But, swing it does. It's a very gentle sort of swing, and, like Fred Rogers himself, non-threatening and full of love. This won't make you hop up off the couch and jitterbug, but it will definitely make you want to hug someone special to you. That can be fun, too.

The session opens, as seems obligatory in any reading of Rogers' work, with a version of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" In a similar nod to conformity, it closes with "It's Such A Good Feeling". No problem with that, as it's expected and they're both swell tunes, wherever they might have shown up. In between, we get material that will be familiar to long-time viewers of Fred's show, most done up in a cool lounge vibe. Over top of the solid bass and drums, there are healthy doses of to-the-point laid-back guitar soloing, some extremely tasty piano work, occasional loosening of the horn section's leash (to very good effect on "You've Got To Do It", which features Roy Agee, George Tidwell, and the late Boots Randolph, trading short solos on trombone, trumpet, and saxophone, respectively), a few country-tinged pieces dominated by cello and fiddle, and - most inviting - Yarbrough's wonderful vocals.

Yarbrough has a truly great set of pipes, and she uses them well. Her singing is smooth and melodic throughout. There's truly little to quibble about in her choices.
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I have 4 kids (3 in college and 1 in 3rd grade), so we are very familiar with Mr Rogers. His music really made the show special (you are special BTW). Holly has done a fantastic job with her version of these timeless songs. I really appreciate what she and the other musicians have done to keep alive these classics. I listen to them in my car in the morning and it does make me feel good. Also, the CD sleeve design is beautiful, and I love the record look of the CD. Great job!!!!!
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Format: MP3 Music
I found this album while looking for some of Mister Rogers' songs - this is a fantastic tribute to his fine work. Great vocals backed up by an excellent jazz band. Mister Rogers would surely approve!
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