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Alerta Sings and Songs for the Playground / Canciones Para el Recreo

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Album Review

This combines the 1980 Folkways LP ALERTA Sings: Children's Songs in Spanish and English and the 1977 Folkways LP Canciones para el Recreo: Children's Songs for the Playground onto one CD. ALERTA is an acronym for A Learning Environment Response To All, a curriculum for young children developed at Columbia University. ALERTA placed a value on multiculturalism and bilingualism, and this program of 31 songs, performed by noted children's singer and guitarist Suni Paz, is devoted to songs from Latin America and the Caribbean. These are really brief tracks — as short as 30 seconds, and only longer than two minutes in a couple of cases — with both Spanish and English lyrics. They're sung capably by Paz, sometimes with sympathetic, unobtrusive accompanying vocalists, sometimes a cappella, and usually on guitar, although piano is also used. Canciones para el Recreo: Children's Songs for the Playground is sung entirely in Spanish, and devoted to songs that Paz learned in Argentina and Chile. This really stands out in the children's music field, which usually employs simple, often bare-bones, musical arrangements. This set of material is considerably fuller in sound, as Paz's vocals, guitar, and charango are complemented by other musicians on guitar, cello, electric piano, and percussion. This makes the songs more interesting to hear, and doesn't slick them up so much that they sound dumb or unadvisedly commercial. You might even enjoy some of these songs on their own terms as respectable South American folk music, outside of a context in which they might be used to entertain or educate kids. This reissue has liner notes which print the lyrics to Canciones para el Recreo: Children's Songs for the Playground in both Spanish and English, the lyrics to the Spanish songs of ALERTA Sings: Children's Songs in Spanish and English in both Spanish and English, and the lyrics to the English songs of ALERTA Sings: Children's Songs in Spanish and English in English only.

Biography

Born: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Genre: Raíces

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and educator Suni Paz specializes in performing and recording children's songs in both Spanish and English, drawing upon indigenous folk styles from all over the Americas. Choosing her name, Suni, meaning "lasting," from the Quechua language (spoken in the Andean region of South America), while Paz came from the Spanish for "peace," she began recording in the 1960s on Barbara Dane's label, and did several albums for Folkways in the 1970s. Since the mid-'80s, she has...
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Top Albums and Songs by Suni Paz

Alerta Sings and Songs for the Playground / Canciones Para el Recreo, Suni Paz
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