Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Between the Waves and the Cardoons

Between the Waves and the Cardoons

Spring 2017 Music
Ages: 4 & Up
CD Price: $10.99

A cello, a Steinway grand, a harp, violins, a trumpet, a Hammond organ-you might assume from the partial list of instruments here that this new children's CD by the Pointed Man Band (aka Dan Elliott) is something a bit out of the ordinary. If you heard Elliott's previous album, "Flight of the Blue Whale," you would be certain of it. Offbeat didn't begin to describe that odyssey involving a fox and a gravity-defying whale. In his new album, Elliott embarks on another strange, image-rich, musically and conceptually complex nature-inspired journey. It begins with a ship braving the narrows of the Columbia Slough to the Pacific Ocean as the tide crashes and rolls in "The Waves" ("the pulse of it and how we rise and fall with it"). This journey is broken by a lashing, haunted waltz ("These Sharp Minors") before moving on to a salmon's perspective of the perilous trip to its spawning ground ("Upstream") and later, "The Wind," an observation of nature and co-existence with a lullaby sway. This unique album, which includes two wistful violin-drenched "Interludes (labeled Nos. 1 and 3; there is no No. 2), is a book told in musical narrative and astonishingly expressive instrumentation. Each time you hear it, there is something new to discover.

Lynne Heffley   ©2017 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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