Aesop for All Ages


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Aesop For All Ages NAPPA 2004 GOLD Winner! (National Parenting Publications) WINNER OF The 2003 SILVER PARENTS CHOICE AWARD!!! BEST CHILDRENS ALBUM 2003, 2nd runner up, Just Plain Folks AESOP for all ages is an engaging collection of songs based on the familiar fables of Aesop, such as The Tortoise and the Hare, The Country Mouse and the City Mouse and The Goose and the Golden Eggs. Conceived, co-written (with her father, lyricist H. C. Nachtrieb) and performed by Bay Area musician and teacher Anne Nachtrieb Zesiger, Aesop For All Ages brings the sturdy fables to life, vividly illustrating the lessons they contain. Sharp songwriting, deft musicianship and a distinctly contemporary feel allow this album to stand on its own merits, elevating it far above the level of bland sing-a-longs that form the bulk of childrens records. The result is rewarding listening for anyone, regardless of age. In fact, it is intended FOR all ages. AESOP for all ages moves from hauntingly beautiful ballads to sprightly mid-tempo folk-rockers to funky, percolating tracks that wouldnt sound out of place on a Bonnie Raitt album. Interesting textures abound throughout, from ethereal keyboard washes to twangy guitar hooks. But the centerpiece of the album in undoubtedly Zesigers warm, accessible voice and effortless delivery, whether solo or layered in complex harmonies. The well-crafted lyrics benefit from ingenious arrangements, with frequent use of call-and-response phrases and quiet vocal interludes that highlight many of the songs lessons. And it is full of unexpected surprises such as the harp flourish that punctuates the slaying of the golden goose on Make An Egg. Included in the strong collection is the moody The Way to Go, based on The Wind and the Sun. Subtle keyboards wash over a delicate guitar figure reminiscent of Paul Simons in Scarborough Fair, as an angelic choir of suspended-chord harmonies carries the song forward. Another standout is the lush folk ballad Sweet Dream (based on The Milkmaid and her Pail) with its strong melody, crystalline acoustic guitar and mandolin accents. The project is the culmination of a six-year collaboration between Zesiger and her father, during which she fully utilized her three callings in life as musician, teacher and mother. Zesiger set out to bring these classic fables to life for children of all ages (that means grownups too!). Time spent with Aesop for all ages will convince anyone that she has succeeded admirably. Anne Nachtrieb Zesiger is a San Francisco Bay Area performing and recording artist, classroom and music teacher, and mother. Learn more at


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