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Rick and Judy.

J & R Records, 1984. Audio-cassette. $9.98. Available from the Children's Book Store, 604 Markham St., Toronto, Ont., M6G2LS #5JR 184.

Pre-School and up
Reviewed by Christine Buchanan

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

Christmas is Coming, recorded in 1984 by folksingers Rick Avery and Judy Greenhill, stands out as a gem of enduring value amongst the plethora of hackneyed offerings that usually appears at Christmas time. This tape contains many familiar and often requested pieces such as "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells," "The Little Drummer Boy," and "White Christmas," as well as more unusual carols, spirituals, and seasonal songs such as "The Wren," "Lord of the Dance," and "Down Came an Angel." The result is an interesting and varied selection with wide age appeal.

However, it is Rick and Judy's treatment that gives this recording its special distinction. They sing with apparent simplicity, yet often there is a subtle, inventive play with rhythm and melody that gives freshness to a piece, while still preserving its integrity. Their clear and beautiful voices, whether in unison, in harmony, in rounds, or solo, unaccompanied or backed by string instrumentation, have a stunning impact.

It is to be regretted that the tape contains no background notes, words, or chords, as these additions often enhance the enjoyment and use of a tape. (Rick and Judy's 1983 record, Land of ihe Silver Birch (J & R Records), contained an excellent and substantial booklet), fortunately, in this case, the singers'diction is so clear that listeners will soon be able to join in even unfamiliar songs.

This is an ideal home acquisition, since all family members are likely to enjoy it. A preschooler might well start with the old favourites and then proceed to expand his or her musical acquaintance to include more rarely heard items. Highly recommended as well for purchase by school and public libraries.

Christine Buchanan, Toronto, Ont.
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