Vintage, Modern Offerings Gave Families Lots To Like This Year

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Families spent a lot of time indoors together this year thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Between parents working from home and students forced to take classes online, parents and their children have seen a lot of each other this year; Probably a lot more than usual.  That increased time together can often lead to tensions between families.  Thankfully, plenty of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets were released this year to help relieve that tension and give families plenty to enjoy together.  That has already been pointed out in part through Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVDs & Blu-rays list.  Single disc presentations are just a part of what families had to enjoy together this year.  There was also plenty of content thrown in this year in the form of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for families.  Among some of the best of this year’s new family box sets are first time releases from the likes of Time Life, PBS, and Nickelodeon.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 new titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Family DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD & BLU-RAY BOX SETS

  1. Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
  2. The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4
  3. Dolly: The Ultimate Collection
  4. Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection
  5. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 2
  6. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3
  7. Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures
  8. The Jetsons: The Complete Series
  9. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1
  10. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2
  11. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 11
  12. Paw  Patrol: PUP-tastic 8-DVD Collection
  13. The Flintstones: 2 Movies & 5 Specials
  14. Garfield & Friends: Season Three
  15. Benji 4-Movie Collection

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the 2020 Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets and then the year’s top new re-issues to finish off this year’s lists.  Stay tuned for all of that this weekend.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

PBS, Nickelodeon Offer Kids, Families Lots Of Worthwhile DVDs, Blu-rays In 2020

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Viacom

PBS, PBS Kids and Nickelodeon are some of the most important television networks for children today.  In an age when it seems like families are becoming increasingly segregated within their own homes thanks to technology and general television programming that is anything but family friendly, these networks continued to provide so much content to bring families together in 2020.  That content was presented not just on the small screen, but also on DVD and Blu-ray.  To that extent, even new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays deserve their own year-end best of list.  That list is what is presented here from Phil’s Picks.  This  year’s list of top new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays pulls mainly from the noted networks, and even from Warner Brothers.  Topping the list this  year is S.T.E.M. programming from Nickelodeon in the form of a new DVD from Blaze and the Monster Machines.  Also featured in this list is new content from series, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and even a certain Cartoon Network movie.

As with every other year-ender list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 New titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Children’s DVDs & Blu-rays.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW CHILDREN’S DVDS & BLU-RAYS

  1. Blaze and the Monster Machines – Knight Riders
  2. The Berenstain Bears – Bear Family Vacation
  3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Explore The Outdoors
  4. Tex Avery – Screwball Classics Vol. 1
  5. Tex Avery – Screwball Classics Vol. 2
  6. Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series
  7. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  8. Ben 10 vs. The Universe
  9. Blaze and the Monster Machines – Race for the Golden Treasure
  10. Elmo’s World – Things Elmo Loves
  11. Monster Hits – Rock & Rhyme With Elmo
  12. Paw Patrol – Dino Rescue
  13. Paw Patrol – Mighty PupsSuper Paws
  14. Paw Patrol – Jet to the Rescue
  15. Garfield World Two Movie Collection

Up next from Phil’s Picks is the year’s Top 10 new Family DVD & Blu-ray Box sets.  Stay tuned for that. 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Hammerfall Drops The Hammer On 2020’s Top New Live Recordings List

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Live music and live music venues took a big hit this year thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  That goes without saying.  Music acts and venues from the independent level all the way up to the big names were force to put their live music plans on hold indefinitely as a result of the pandemic.  However a glimmer of hope rose this week when Live Nation head Joe Berchtold was quoted by major media outlets as saying that he believed live music would return by summer 2021.  One can only hope that Mr. Berchtold is right, and that when it does return, audiences will welcome its return rather than let the germaphobes control their minds.  Until then, audiences do have lots of live music to enjoy on CD, DVD and Blu-ray that was released this year.  Hammerfall released its latest live recording Live! Against The World this year.  Dream Theater also dropped its new live recording Distant Memories: Live in London.  Metallica even celebrated the anniversary of its landmark S&M show with the release of S&M2.  These are just some of the recordings that made Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Live Recordings.  They were joined by new live material from the likes of Myrath, The Rolling Stones, and Kamelot.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the Top 10 new titles in the given category and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Live Recordings.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW LIVE RECORDINGS

  1. Hammerfall – Live! Against The World
  2. Jimi Hendrix – Live in Maui
  3. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration
  4. Def Leppard – London to Vegas
  5. The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live
  6. Devin Townsend – Order of Magnitude: Empath Live Volume 1
  7. John Lee Hooker – Live at Montreux 1983 & 1990
  8. Waylon Jennings – The Outlaw Perrformances
  9. Myrath – Live in Carthage
  10. Kamelot – I Am The Empire Live from the 013
  11. Dream Theater – Distant Memories: Live in London
  12. Metallica – S&M2
  13. Delta Rae – Coming Home To Carolina
  14. Bush – Live in Tampa
  15. Dee Snider – For The Love of Metal

Up next from Phil’s Picks is one of the last three music categories of the year, Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Rock Albums.  After that will be the year’s top new hard rock & metal albums, and then last but not least, the year’s top new albums overall.  From there, it’ll be on to the DVDs and Blu-rays in all of their categories.  Stay tuned for all of that.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Audiences Of All Ages Will Enjoy JLCO’s New Musical Tribute To ‘Sesame Street’

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records

PBS and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis partnered last year to pay tribute to the beloved children’s series Sesame Street.  The concert, dubbed A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration was part of the ongoing celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary.  With any luck, audiences will eventually be able to own the concert in full on DVD and/or Blu-ray.  Unless or until that happens, audiences can enjoy the concert in an exclusive audio presentation thanks to Blue Engine Records.  The show’s set list is in itself more than enough reason to take in this performance.  It will be addressed shortly.  The performance thereof adds even more enjoyment to the concert and will be discussed a little later.  The concert’s production rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, the recording proves to be a presentation that audiences of all ages will enjoy, whether they are fans of jazz, Sesame Street or the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s new musical tribute to Sesame Street, which was clearly recorded prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is a wonderful presentation.  It is a work that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That is proven in part through the concert’s set list.  The 13-song set list plays out like a musical history lesson about Sesame Street.  That is because the featured songs are from the series’ formative years, going all the way back to 1969 – when the series debuted – and all the way up to 1989.  There is also one song from 2006 added in for good measure.  For the most part though, the song’s set list features songs that, like Rena Strober’s recently released album Imagine That, largely pays tribute to the work of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss.  Case in point are songs, such as the series’ theme song (Joe Raposo), ‘Rubber Duckie’ (Jeff Moss), ‘One Of These Things’ (Joe Raposo), ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon’ (Jeff Moss), ‘People in Your Neighborhood’ (Jeff Moss), ‘Believe in Yourself’ (Joe Raposo), and ‘Sing’ (Joe Raposo).  Simply put, more than half of the songs featured in this set list were crafted by the famed composers and songwriters.  The other featured songs were written and composed by others, so in reality, there is a clear tribute to the work of Raposo and Moss.  Whether that was intentional is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, the picture painted by this set is sure to appeal to plenty of audiences simply because it takes audiences back to Sesame Street’s golden age.  This is just one part of what makes this recording so enjoyable.  The performance of said set list adds even more enjoyment to the recording’s presentation.

The performance of the noted set list is so enjoyable because it is not just a bunch of song performances.  Big Bird, Elmo, Rosita, The Count, Grover, and other beloved Sesame Street characters take part in the performances, adding to their richness.  Sure, the introductory moment for each performance was scripted with some feeling a little bit forced, most of those introductory moments felt so natural.  Case in point was Grover’s introduction as Super Grover ahead of ‘Believe in Yourself.’  Audiences got to see him “fly” onto the stage before sharing a little dialogue with one member of the orchestra.  Grover’s presence and his dialogue with the noted musician is certain to leave audiences smiling and laughing.  The very performance of the song adds even more to the moment.

Another notable moment in which the performance shines is in that of ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon.’  Ever since its initial performance on television so many decades ago, the song has been a gentle lullaby.  Every time it has been covered, it has maintained that gentle tone, too.  In the case of its performance here though, it has a more upbeat yet controlled presence.  In other words, while it is not quite the lullaby style work that it has come to be known as over the years, that element is still there.  The balance of the old and new makes this moment one of the concert’s most notable highlights.

Yet another memorable moment that makes the concert’s overall performance so enjoyable comes early on in the performance of ‘Sing After Me.’ Abby Cadabra and Big Bird join the orchestra for this light hearted performance.   The chemistry between the Muppet performers and the musicians is so clear as Abby and Big Bird try to learn about scatting in their discussion with Marsalis.  The duo’s interaction with the audience throughout the song, as they get everyone to sing along makes for even more enjoyment.  It is just one more moment that shows the strength of the group’s performance of the set list.  When it is considered along with the rest of the enjoyable performance and the et list itself, the two items give audiences more than enough reason to take in this concert recording.  The set list and the performance thereof are only a portion of what makes this recording so enjoyable.  The production thereof puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The production of A SwinginSesame Street Celebration adds its own impact because it takes into account every audio aspect of the performance.  What’s more the visual aspect was also taken into account.  Those who watched the pre-taped performance got the best seat in the house, going high above the audience and up on stage with the group.  The camera transitions (fades in TV terminology) are smooth and well-paced.  They help give a full, rich picture.  The audio is just as well-balanced, especially considering the size of the concert hall.  Each performer (musician and puppeteer) was adequately mic’d up and equally well-balanced.  At the same time, the audience noise was just as audible without any element being too airy.  The result of all of the attention to detail in the production (both during and post) results in a presentation that is just as enjoyable for its audio and visual aspects as for its primary content.  All things considered, the  Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s SwinginSesame Street Celebration proves to be a fully enjoyable musical tribute from a great musical collective to an equally great television series.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s new concert recording A SwinginSesame Street Celebration is a completely enjoyable new live offering that the whole family will enjoy.  It is another great tribute to Sesame Street and its legacy.  That is proven in part through the concert’s featured set list.  The set list largely pays tribute to the work of Jeff Moss and Joe Raposo on the long-running series.  The performance thereof adds its own enjoyment and appeal to the presentation.  That is because the performance is more than just a bunch of songs.  There is actually more to the performance, as audiences will learn for themselves.  The production (during and post) puts the finishing touch to the recording.  That is proven as it sounds and looks wonderful.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, the noted items make A SwinginSesame Street celebration one more of this  year’s top new live CDs and family music albums.  With any luck the folks at Sesame Workshop will eventually release it on DVD and Blu-ray so that audiences can get the full experience.

More information on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s A SwinginSesame Street Celebration concert is available along with all of the group’s news at:

Websitehttp://jazz.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenterorchestra

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

More information on Sesame Street is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.sesamestreet.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameStreet

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesamestreet

More information on Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

JLCO Debuts ‘It Feels Good (When You Sing A Song)’ Live Clip

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis is giving audiences a sneak peek at tonight’s new musical Sesame Street tribute.

The orchestra debuted a clip of Elmo performing the song ‘It Feels Good (When You Sing A Song)‘ Wednesday. Elmo is joined by Hoots The Owl for the song, which celebrates the joy that singing brings.

The song is one of 13 that the orchestra will perform alongside some of Sesame Street‘s most beloved residents. The collective announced the concert’s set list Tuesday. It is noted below.

Jazz at Lincoln Center PresentsA Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration is scheduled to air on PBS stations nationwide at 9 p.m. ET tonight. The concert’s audio recording was released today.

TRACK LISTING

1. Sesame Street Theme

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP) / Stage Harbor Publishing (ASCAP)

Written by Joe Raposo, Jon Stone, and Bruce Hart

Arranged by Kenny Rampton

Featuring: Matthew Vogel (Big Bird), Ryan Dillon (Elmo), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby)

2. Rubber Duckie

Festival Attractions Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Jeff Moss

Arranged by Chris Crenshaw

Featuring: Peter Linz (Ernie)

3. It Feels Good (When You Sing a Song)

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Sam Pottle and George James

Arranged by Marcus Printup

Featuring: Chris Thomas Hayes (Hoots the Owl), Ryan Dillon (Elmo)

4. Sing After Me

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Sam Pottle and Tony Geiss

Arranged by Victor Goines

Featuring: Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Matthew Vogel (Big Bird)

5. One of These Things

Stage Harbor Publishing (ASCAP)

Written by Joe Raposo and Jon Stone

Arranged by Sherman Irby

Featuring: Eric Jacobson (Oscar the Grouch), Peter Linz (Herry Monster), Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita)

Solos: Kenny Rampton (trumpet), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Elliot Mason (bass trumpet), Janelle Reichman (tenor saxophone), Victor Goines (tenor saxophone), Chris Crenshaw (trombone)

6. Elmo’s Song

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP) / Ephemeral Music Co. (ASCAP)

Written by Tony Geiss

Arranged by Kenny Rampton

Featuring: Ryan Dillon (Elmo)

Solo: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)

7. I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon

Festival Attractions Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Jeff Moss

Arranged by Wynton Marsalis

Featuring: Peter Linz (Ernie), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Matthew Vogel (Big Bird)

Solos: Victor Goines (clarinet), Elliot Mason (trombone), Sherman Irby (alto saxophone), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)

8. Put Down the Duckie

Splotched Animal Music Co. (BMI) / Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles

Arranged by Carlos Henriquez

Featuring: Peter Linz (Ernie), Chris Thomas Hayes (Hoots the Owl)

Solos: Ted Nash (alto saxophone), Sherman Irby (alto saxophone)

9. Ladybugs’ Picnic

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by William Luckey & Don Hadley

Arranged by Sherman Irby

Featuring: Matthew Vogel (The Count), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita)

Solos: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Vincent Gardner (trombone)

10. People in Your Neighborhood

Festival Attractions Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Jeff Moss

Arranged by Ted Nash

Featuring: Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita), Ryan Dillon (Elmo), Matthew Vogel (Mr. Johnson), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby)

11. Pinball Number Count

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP) / Ned Shatzer III Publishing (BMI)

Written by Walt Kramer & Ed Bogas

Arranged by Carlos Henriquez

Featuring: Matthew Vogel (The Count)

Solos: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Paul Nedzela (baritone saxophone)

12.Believe in Yourself

Green Fox Music Inc. (BMI) / Jonico Music Inc. (BMI)

Written by Joe Raposo

Arranged by Chris Crenshaw

Featuring: Eric Jacobson (Grover), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Ryan Dillon (Elmo)

Solo: Sherman Irby (alto saxophone)

13. Sing

Green Fox Music Inc. (BMI)

Written by Joe Raposo

Arranged by Ted Nash

Featuring: Ryan Dillon (Elmo), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita), Chris Thomas Hayes (Hoots the Owl), Peter Linz (Ernie), Eric Jacobson (Bert), Matthew Vogel (Big Bird)

More information on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s upcoming concert is available along with all of the group’s news at:

Websitehttp://jazz.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenterorchestra

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

More information on Sesame Street is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.sesamestreet.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameStreet

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesamestreet

More information on Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

JLCO’s Reveals Track Listing For New ‘Sesame Street’ Musical Tribute

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records/Sesame Worshop

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will release its next live recording Friday.

The organization is scheduled to release its new recording Jazz at Lincoln Center PresentsA Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration digitally, the same day that the performance will air on PBS stations nationwide. The hour-long presentation was recorded in front of a sold-out audience at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater and is scheduled to broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 30 on PBS stations across the country.

The forthcoming concert broadcast will air in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street.

The JLCO performed a variety of classic Sesame Street songs, such as ‘Rubber Duckie,’ ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon,’ and ‘People in your Neighborhood’ during the concert.  Famous Sesame Street residents, such as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, and the duo of Bert & Ernie joined the band to perform the concert’s extensive set list, which is noted below.

TRACK LISTING

1. Sesame Street Theme

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP) / Stage Harbor Publishing (ASCAP)

Written by Joe Raposo, Jon Stone, and Bruce Hart

Arranged by Kenny Rampton

Featuring: Matthew Vogel (Big Bird), Ryan Dillon (Elmo), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby)

2. Rubber Duckie

Festival Attractions Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Jeff Moss

Arranged by Chris Crenshaw

Featuring: Peter Linz (Ernie)

3. It Feels Good (When You Sing a Song)

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Sam Pottle and George James

Arranged by Marcus Printup

Featuring: Chris Thomas Hayes (Hoots the Owl), Ryan Dillon (Elmo)

4. Sing After Me

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Sam Pottle and Tony Geiss

Arranged by Victor Goines

Featuring: Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Matthew Vogel (Big Bird)

5. One of These Things

Stage Harbor Publishing (ASCAP)

Written by Joe Raposo and Jon Stone

Arranged by Sherman Irby

Featuring: Eric Jacobson (Oscar the Grouch), Peter Linz (Herry Monster), Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita)

Solos: Kenny Rampton (trumpet), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Elliot Mason (bass trumpet), Janelle Reichman (tenor saxophone), Victor Goines (tenor saxophone), Chris Crenshaw (trombone)

6. Elmo’s Song

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP) / Ephemeral Music Co. (ASCAP)

Written by Tony Geiss

Arranged by Kenny Rampton

Featuring: Ryan Dillon (Elmo)

Solo: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)

7. I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon

Festival Attractions Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Jeff Moss

Arranged by Wynton Marsalis

Featuring: Peter Linz (Ernie), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Matthew Vogel (Big Bird)

Solos: Victor Goines (clarinet), Elliot Mason (trombone), Sherman Irby (alto saxophone), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)

8. Put Down the Duckie

Splotched Animal Music Co. (BMI) / Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles

Arranged by Carlos Henriquez

Featuring: Peter Linz (Ernie), Chris Thomas Hayes (Hoots the Owl)

Solos: Ted Nash (alto saxophone), Sherman Irby (alto saxophone)

9. Ladybugs’ Picnic

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by William Luckey & Don Hadley

Arranged by Sherman Irby

Featuring: Matthew Vogel (The Count), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita)

Solos: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Vincent Gardner (trombone)

10. People in Your Neighborhood

Festival Attractions Inc. (ASCAP)

Written by Jeff Moss

Arranged by Ted Nash

Featuring: Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita), Ryan Dillon (Elmo), Matthew Vogel (Mr. Johnson), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby)

11. Pinball Number Count

Sesame Street Inc. (ASCAP) / Ned Shatzer III Publishing (BMI)

Written by Walt Kramer & Ed Bogas

Arranged by Carlos Henriquez

Featuring: Matthew Vogel (The Count)

Solos: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Paul Nedzela (baritone saxophone)

12.Believe in Yourself

Green Fox Music Inc. (BMI) / Jonico Music Inc. (BMI)

Written by Joe Raposo

Arranged by Chris Crenshaw

Featuring: Eric Jacobson (Grover), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Ryan Dillon (Elmo)

Solo: Sherman Irby (alto saxophone)

13. Sing

Green Fox Music Inc. (BMI)

Written by Joe Raposo

Arranged by Ted Nash

Featuring: Ryan Dillon (Elmo), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby), Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (Rosita), Chris Thomas Hayes (Hoots the Owl), Peter Linz (Ernie), Eric Jacobson (Bert), Matthew Vogel (Big Bird)

More information on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s upcoming concert is available along with all of the group’s news at:

Websitehttp://jazz.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenterorchestra

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

More information on Sesame Street is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.sesamestreet.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameStreet

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesamestreet

More information on Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

JLCO To Perform ‘Sesame Street’ Musical Special This Month

Courtesy: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis

The Jazz a Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will pay tribute to Sesame Street this month.

Jazz at Lincoln Center PresentsA Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration is scheduled to broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 30 on PBS stations nationwide.  The hour-long presentation was recorded in front of a sold-out audience at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

The band performed a variety of classic Sesame Street songs, such as ‘Rubber Duckie,’ ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon,’ and ‘People in your Neighborhood’ during the concert.  Famous Sesame Street residents, such as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, and the duo of Bert & Ernie joined the band to perform the concert’s extensive set list.

The forthcoming concert broadcast will air in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street.

More information on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s upcoming concert is available along with all of the group’s news at:

 

Websitehttp://jazz.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenterorchestra

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

 

More information on Sesame Street is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.sesamestreet.org

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameStreet

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesamestreet

 

 

More information on Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rena Strober’s New Compilation Is A Fitting Tribute To The Work Of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Sesame Street has, for more than half a century, educated and entertained audiences of all ages through its songs, skits and animated segments.  Over the course of its more than 50 years on the air, the series has garnered recognition from around the world and produced any number of VHS, DVD and CD releases.  Broadway actress Rena Strober – who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor Moon, Liv and Maddie, and Penn Zero: Part Time Hero — will release her own tribute to the music of the beloved series with her new compilation album Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss on Friday.  The 14-song compilation record is a welcome addition to any family’s music library.  That is due in part to its featured songs.  This will be explained shortly.  The songs’ arrangements add their own positive touch to the compilation.  They will be addressed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make this compilation that will appeal to Sesame Street fans of any age.

Rena Strober’s new compilation of Sesame Street songs is a presentation that Sesame Street fans of all ages will appreciate.  Its appeal is due in part to its featured songs.  As the compilation’s subtitle states, many of the songs featured here aired during Sesame Street’s earliest years on television.  Written and composed by the team of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, the songs featured here were largely featured in the long-running series’ debut season, which aired in 1971.  While the compilation reaches all the way back to the series’ first season, it also reaches all the way up to its 22nd season, which aired in 1989.  Among the most notable of the featured songs are the timeliness tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Imagination.’  Also known by the title ‘It’s Not Easy (Being Green),’ that song in question is arguably the most timeless of the series’ songs.  Sung originally by Kermit The Frog, it addresses the feelings that a person has in recognizing he or she is not the same as others.  ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon,’ sung by Ernie, is a touching lullaby that will put a smile on any listener’s face.  It celebrates the fascination with exploring new places and the appreciation of being at home.  Other songs, such as ‘High, Middle, Low,’ ‘Imagination,’ and ‘Sing’ all over their own entertainment.  Given, the compilation largely focuses on Sesame Street’s earliest years, but even with that in mind, it still does its own positive job of profiling the state of the series’ music at that point.  To that end, it is still a positive in its own right to this compilation.  The arrangements of the compilation’s timeless tunes add even more enjoyment to its presentation.

Strober’s take of ‘Being Green’ is a prime example the importance of the songs’ arrangements.  Strober stays true to the song’s source material here, but at the same time she also gives the song its own unique touch.  Her vocal delivery style here brings out her Broadway training while flautist Shane Kirsch adds another layer to the song.  The addition of the strings to the song’s arrangement enriches the composition even more.  The subtlety in each musician’s performance takes the original song and makes it an even more deeply emotional work that listeners will love just as much as the original if not more.  It is just one way in which the compilation’s arrangements prove so important to its presentation.  ‘Believe in Yourself’ is another example of what makes the arrangements stand out.

‘Believe in Yourself’ has been performed multiple times throughout the history of Sesame Street.  It was first sung by the series’ character Molly (played by Charlotte Rae).  Since then, it went on to become a favorite of the show, performed by the likes of Diana Ross, Ray Charles and even Justin Timberlake throughout the years.  Each rendition was unique in its own way, needless to say.  Strober’s rendition presents its own unique presentation, too.  That theatrical approach for which she is known for using is just as evident here as anywhere else in the album.  At the same time, it is so easy to imagine her singing this song on the show today.  The addition of the backing vocals from DOTZ singers Gavin Stevens and Coco Jernigan, and the banjo and violin lines adds even more enjoyment to the arrangement.  It gives the song a whole new life and identity that makes the album overall that much more enjoyment for listeners.  It is just one more way in which the arrangements prove pivotal to the record.  ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ is one more example of the importance of the arrangements featured in this recording.

Strober’s take on the timeless tune that is ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon’ is even more moving than the original.  Pat Coil’s performance on the song’s keyboard intro sets the tone right from its outset.  That, together with Strober’s simple, minimalist vocal delivery adds even more depth.  Giovanna Clayton’s performance on the cello is so gentle in its own right, too.  When that gentle, subtle addition is joined with the keyboards and Strober’s vocal delivery the whole of the song becomes this compilation’s brightest point.  It stays true to its source material and builds so much on that material at the same time.  It is certain to become even more a favorite among audiences in this presentation.  When it is considered along with the other arrangements noted here and the rest of the compilation’s arrangements, the end result is a record whose arrangements make it just as much as for the songs themselves and the history that they represent.  It is just one more way in which the compilation proves worth hearing.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Rena Strober’s new compilation starts off lightly with the bouncy, mid-tempo take of ‘Somebody Come And Play.’  From there, the record pulls back in ‘Sing,’ but then immediately picks right back up in ‘Imagine That.’  The rises and falls continue on from there in the next trio of songs, too – ‘Being Green,’ ‘I’m Pretty/I’m An Aardvark,’ ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon.’  The rises and falls continue moderately from there on right to the compilation’s finale.’  The effect is that the album’s overall energy is balanced smoothly from one to the next.  Those transitions and balanced energy are primarily aesthetic elements, but they work so well here.  When it is considered along with the record’s overall content, the compilation in whole proves a fitting tribute to the work of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, while also proving to be a collection of songs that Sesame Street fans of all ages will appreciate.

Rena Strober’s new family music album Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is an enjoyable new offering from the veteran actress.  It is a work that shows even more the breadth of Strober’s own talents while also serving as a strong tribute to two of the greatest musical figures from the history of Sesame Street.  At the same time, it is just as much a wonderful celebration of the musical history of the series.  This is all due in pat to the record’s featured songs.  The songs’ arrangements add their own unique touch to the record.  The same can be said of the compilation’s sequencing.  Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make it a work that the most devoted Sesame Street fans will appreciate.  Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is scheduled for release Friday through Knighthawk Digital Entertainment Group.

More information on Rena Strober’s new record is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://renastrober.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/renastroberfanpage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/renastrober

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rena Strober Announces Release Date, Specs For Debut Family Music Album

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Famed actress Rena Strober will release her debut family music album next month.

Strober — who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor MoonLiv and Maddie, and Penn ZeroPart Time Hero and worked on a variety of Broadway stage shows — will release her new musical offering, titled Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss Aug. 28.

The 14-song record features guest performances from other famed figures, such as Jason Alexander (Seinfeldthe Hunchback of Notre DamePretty Woman), French Stewart (3rd Rock From The SunMomStargate), and Michael-Leon Wooley (The Princess and the FrogDreamgirlsPremium Rush) along with a variety of other well-known stars.

The compilation features some of the most beloved songs from Sesame Street‘s now 50-years-plus on television, including but not limited to the timeless tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Believe In Yourself.’

Raposo’s son Nick praised Strober for her work on her new record in a prepared statement, saying, “My family and I were thrilled to work with Rena Strober to bring this wonderful album to life. My father dedicated his life to respecting and nurturing all children, of every ability and heritage, everywhere.”

The release of Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is directly aligned with National Guide Dog Month, which is celebrated in September.  In celebration of the month, a portion of proceeds from the record’s sale will go to benefit Guide Dogs of America and the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation.  The agencies work to find a treatment and cure for blindness, with focus on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).

The album will be available with a braille cover for audiences who are hard of sight and blind.  It can be ordered digitally and physically here.  Audiences can view a behind-the-scenes video featuring Strober talking about the album’s inspiration and creation.

More information on Rena Strober’s new record is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Website: http://renastrober.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/renastroberfanpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/renastrober

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Arthur’ Leads 2019’s Top New Family DVDs/BDs With Its New Celebration Of Diversity

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Entertaining children and keeping them  entertained is not an easy task.  Every parent out there can attest to this statement, including this critic.  Thankfully, new DVDs and Blu-rays are released annually that go a long way toward keeping children entertained while also bringing families together.  This year saw its own share of strong new DVDs and Blu-rays for families, too.  That was thanks to PBS Distribution, Shout! Factory  and even — believe it or not — Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.  From Sesame Street to Wild Kratts to even Scooby Doo and more, this year’s family-friendly DVD and BD releases offered hours of entertainment.

As with every list presented so far, this year’s list features the Top 10 titles of the year, plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 new releases.  Without further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Family DVDs and BDs.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVDs/BDs

  1. ArthurArthur Celebrates Community
  2. Ready Jet Go!One Small Step
  3. Ready Jet Go!Space Rocks
  4. Nature CatNature Cat & Mr. Hide
  5. The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
  6. Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes
  7. Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun
  8. Sesame StreetAwesome Alphabet Collection
  9. Sesame StreetCelebrate Family
  10. Scooby Doo & The Curse of the 13th Ghost
  11. Wild KrattsCreepy Creatures
  12. Wild KrattsBriny Blue Sea
  13. Splash & BubblesPole To Pole
  14. Dinosaur TrainDinosaurs Big & Small
  15. Oddsockeaters

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.