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Album Review: For Kids From One To Ninety-Two
Timothy J. Mercaldo
Cover image of the album For Kids From One To Ninety-Two by Timothy J. Mercaldo
For Kids From One To Ninety-Two
Timothy J. Mercaldo
2006 / TJVJ Records
58 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Rev. Timothy Mercaldo has assembled a delightful second Christmas piano album that combines effervescent popular songs, sentimental favorites, TV and movie classics, and some lesser-known sacred melodies, as well as a couple of bonus vocals and several short recordings of Mercaldo’s four daughters as they were growing up. The result is a wonderful blending of many Christmas traditions that are based on or inspired by the birth of Jesus Christ. With the conviction that God is the source of all that is “fun, good, and laugh-filled,” this makes perfect sense and gives the album a sense of childlike joy and innocence. The copious liner notes explain how and why Mercaldo chose the songs for the album, making it even more personal and meaningful. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Stewardship Foundation, a new group that raises funds for orphans' college tuition.

The CD opens with two versions of “Jingle Bells.” The first is a jaunty piano solo that has a more contemplative middle section and finishes dancing on air. The second is a “Chipmunks” style vocal recorded by Mercaldo’s daughters on their computer. At twenty seconds long, it’s a sweet indulgence. Mercaldo’s arrangement of “White Christmas” is full of wistful sentiment and nostalgia. “Peanuts Medley” shows us Mercaldo’s jazzy stylings, opening with a few bars from “Linus and Lucy,” which melds into “Christmas is Coming” and then “Christmastime Is Here,” a reflective holiday classic. “A Child Is Born” is a gorgeous piece composed by Thaddeus Jones that is especially meaningful to Mercaldo - and it shows in his deeply emotional playing. “Santa Medley” is a jazzy combination of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and “It’s the Holiday Season.” Lighthearted and full of fun, it should be a favorite of any age group. One of my favorite tracks is “Alfred Burt Medley,” perhaps because these songs are less familiar. “Come, Dear Children” is a playful and buoyant march that transitions into “Star Carol,” a tender and gentle song. Next is “Some Children See Him,” a lovely piece George Winston featured on his “December” album. The medley is rounded out with “This Is Christmas.” “Rudolph and Frosty” is a lively medley of those two children’s classics, sure to bring a smile. “Polarized Grinchy Medley” combines “Where Are You, Christmas?” from “The Grinch” and “Believe” from “Polar Express,” an enchanting duo. The last of the “official” tracks is a gentle, romantic arrangement of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts).” The two bonus tracks are vocals of “The Little Boy Santa Claus Forgot,” which ties in with The Stewardship Foundation’s purpose, and “C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s,” a song that gives meaning to each letter of the word. Wait! We’re still not done! After the close of that song, Mercaldo included some silly and funny “jingles” he wrote for his daughters as they were growing up and a taped conversation between his oldest and youngest girls.

For Kids From One To Ninety-Two should brighten even the nastiest Scrooge’s holiday season and will certainly become a Christmas favorite in your collection. It is available from gateway2music.com or by emailing Timothy Mercaldo at timothyjmercaldo@gmail.com or calling (917) 699-8898.
December 7, 2006
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday Albums
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