©2016 Vanessa Trien
Wonderful YOU celebrates with ten original songs, two covers, and a host of fine guest musicians. The festivities begin with the jubilant "One Foot In Front of the Other," featuring duet vocals with Grammy-nominated American folk and family music performer Alastair Moock. This is followed by a clutch of great songs such as the life appreciating "Shine," the bluesy "Wonderful You," the fun noise-making song "Fireworks," and the imagination and role-playing encouragement song "Magic Wand." Other highlights include two spritely movement songs in the jazzy "Monkey Jump," and the light reggae of "Round and Round We Go," featuring the duet vocals of Barbara Brousal, who was one of the original "friends" in Dan Zane's early band.
Next up is a set of three songs, all featuring the playful fiddle and outstanding vocals of Rani Arbo from the band daisy mayhem. "Chi Chi Bom Bom" is a great nonsense, sound-making bluegrass hoedown, "Feeling Thankful" features a duet between Arbo and Brousal, and expresses feelings of gratitude; while a second duet, this time with the incomparable Mr. G is a winning cover of the 1958 Johnny Otis classic "Willie and the Hand Jive." The album closes with a sweet cover of The Beatles "All Together Now," and a warm and gentle song of kindness and empathy "Circles of Friends."
Trien augments her melodic and friendly voice with expert guitar and ukulele playing. Her talented troupe of Jumping Monkeys includes Adam Rothberg on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, ukulele, bass, and vocals, and Paul Kochanski playing electric and upright bass. Fabio Pirozzola and Richard Gates also contribute drums and bass. The CD is packaged in an eco-friendly paper sleeve, with nice art, full liner notes and lyrics, included in a well-designed and illustrated booklet.