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Lullabies to soothe the little ones to sleep

On a Starry Night
On a Starry Night
By various artists
Windham Hill Records: 1997

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This review first appeared in the June 28, 1997 edition of the American Reporter.

Any collection of lullabies that opens with a track by Bobby McFerrin isn't going to miss by much. And Windham Hill's new "On a Starry Night" doesn't.

Of course, McFerrin isn't carrying the whole project by himself. Besides McFerrin's beautiful "Common Threads," there are songs performances by the Turtle Island String Quartet, Brazilian singer Flora Purim, Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, monster jazz pianist Dr. Billy Taylor, and new age stars George Winston and Jim Brickman, among others.

All 17 songs are perfect for getting the wee ones to settle down before bed (and to calm Mom and Dad's frazzled nerves, too).

While the songs are drawn from around the world – Iceland to Israel, Germany to Japan – the liner notes make clear that this is not a world music album. The performances are not generally traditional; the interpretations are geared more for the young ones. (And, yes, old favorites like "Rock-A-Bye Baby" and Brahms' "Lullaby" are here.)

What this is is a wonderful family album; serene enough to hold the kids' attention, yet artistic enough for we older folks. It is a great excuse to gather the cherubs on your lap and just hold them at the end of the day.