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Going Places

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Album Review

Nelson Gill's debut recording is an eminently danceable collection of songs. It seems sure to get kids up and bouncing, particularly those in the one- to six-year-old set. These simple and catchy melodies are likely to be sung cheerfully by youngsters long after the CD has been turned off. But more remarkable than Gill's ability to entertain is his ability to expose children to exotic new cultural experiences. Gill employs a wide range of Caribbean styles in the record, and each time the song title is mentioned in the album cover and liner notes, Gill reveals the genre of the song. "Big Farm," for instance, is identified as calypso/soca, while "Dance Merengue" is (naturally) a merengue tune. The record's two most memorable tracks, "Ten Little Ducks" and "Going Places," are both reggae songs. Children who listen to the record will have an education in Caribbean music that exceeds that of most adults. They'll also get a healthy exposure to foreign languages, since three of these songs are presented in both English and Spanish. Though the production does sound a bit low-budget (most of the instrumentation — including steel drums and brass — is simulated with keyboards), the arrangements are nonetheless intricate and captivating. Going Places is so much fun that parents may find themselves sneaking a listen when Johnny is safely tucked away in bed.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Caribbean children's musician Nelson Gill has the kind of uniquely diverse background that so often breeds professional innovation. Born and raised in Central America (first in Belize and later in Guatemala), Gill gained extensive exposure to authentic Caribbean music early in his life. Arriving in the United States at the age of 19, Gill earned an associate's degree in music and a bachelor's degree in Spanish literature. The multi-lingual youngster, who was already fluent in English, Spanish, and...
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Going Places, Nelson Gill
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