Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.
Personnel: Van Dyke Parks (vocals, piano); Kathy Dalton, Danny Hutton (vocals); Fred Tackett (guitar, banjo, mandolin); Gayle Levant (harp); Tommy Morgan, Stanley Behrens (harmonica); Emil Richards (vibraphone, marimba, bells, timpani); Jim Hughart (bass); Jim Keltner (drums); Robert Greenidge (steel drum); Kenny Watson (cymbalom); Jennifer Warnes (background vocals).
Recorded at Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, California between December 1982 and February 1983.
This wonderful 1984 album was Van Dyke Park's first release in nine years. He made up for the wait with a timeless set of interlocking songs that draw upon Joel Chandler's 19th Century (but timeless) UNCLE REMUS stories. JUMP! is full of surprising twists, turns, and charms and is as rich as anything Broadway was producing on the musical front. Parks' music rolls out like a parade through Anytown, USA--or, rather, like the emotional impressions and memories of such a parade.
Each song has its own distinct character and leaves an unforgettable impression. In a perfect world, "Opportunity For Two," "Many A Mile To Go," and "Come Along" would be regularly celebrated standards. Parks tried to raise interest in a fully staged version of this song cycle. Sadly, a beautifully presented New York City concert attracted no such offers. But the rewards of JUMP! are plentiful, and the album is not to be missed.