Album of the Day
As a composer, performer and arranger, Van Dyke Parks has championed the rich history of American popular music in all its forms for nearly half a century, and JUMP! is one of his most delightful creations. The 1984 Warner Bros. collection uses the Uncle Remus folktales of Joel Chandler Harris as a jumping-off point, with Br'er Rabbit and his brethren as central characters in a song cycle of the South. Like the soundtrack to a Broadway musical of your dreams, the album couches Park's witty wordplay in such styles as bluegrass, ragtime, hot jazz and Tin Pan Alley, with a strong studio band (including such friends as Jennifer Warnes, Danny Hutton and Jim Keltner) behind the singer-songwriter. As Van Dyke Parks just celebrated a birthday, it's the perfect time to JUMP! into this rewarding record.