The Cat’s Pajamas, a group of nine very talented musicians, includes musical director/songwriter/pianist/accordion player Heath Allen, and lead singer Janet Schreiner. Their latest release, Kitten Kaboodle, boasts ten rollicking songs: some covers, some originals; all a lot of well-crafted fun. The album opens with a Gene Krupa-style tom-tom driven, boogie-woogie beat on the traditional “Grandma Moses.” The Allen-penned “A Big Parade” celebrates both the New Orleans tradition of Mardi Gras, as well as the different wind instruments that carry the celebration along. Tom Chapin’s classic ode to literacy “The Library Song,” and James Taylor’s beloved “Jellyman Kelly” are both covered in lively and original arrangements. A nice slinky, jazz orchestration is given to Allen’s “One Bad Wolf,” a cleverly written tune about not judging people by their appearances, while Bill Harley’s “Pirate’s Song” receives an appropriately swashbuckling interpretation. A dancing tuba propels the time-honored favorite “Waltzing with Bears,” while echoes of the Andrew Sisters are evoked on “Three Little Fishes,” and Connie Kaldor’s wonderfully fun “The Bellybutton Song” is transformed into a lighthearted blues. The album closes on an ideally merry note, as Huey “Piano” Smith’s ’50s hit “Don’t You Just Know It” is incorporated into their “Chicken A La Cat” –a delightfully silly animal sounds song.
Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.