King Pajama
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King Pajama

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Comedy Children's Music

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The Sound: Piano driven, bluesy rhythms and a heavy does of affection for Carole King.

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Funky Mama, Sugar Free All stars, The Dreyer Family Band.

Best Moments: “Heavy Coat” is the best song on the disc. It’s absolutely going to have people giving you eyes as you sing to yourself “heavy coat / heavy coat / will you sail with me / on a ship across the ocean / just my heavy coast and me”. I cannot get that delicious melody out of my head. Additionally, I can’t help but think of Where the Wild Things Are as I listen to this track. In fact, many of the lyrics on the album have a Sendak-feel to them. The lyrical content, together with the obvious Really Rosie musical influence, give “Something Sweet” a timeless aesthetic, kinda like a pair of faded old bluejeans – comfy, cool and classic.

Bonus Thoughts: King Pajama is Brooklyn based husband and wife Jason and Jena Blechman who enlisted the help of the uber-talented vocalist Nina Zeitlin to bring their debut kid’s music project to life.

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: “Something Sweet” is a just that, a sweet, surprising and utterly pleasant album from start to finish. There’s no reason you couldn’t leave this disc spinning long after your kids have been deposited at school or after they’ve drifted off to sleep. It’s likely that you, before getting to this point in the review anyway, had never heard of King Pajama…you’re not alone. I had no idea who they were either and now I cannot stop playing their CD. I love it and my girls love dancing to it. If you’re reading OWTK and you’ve made it this far down, there’s a very good chance your gang will want a little “Something Sweet” too. - OWTK.com


One of the more exciting musical enterprises to emerge in the kid’s music arena during the past twelve months is King Pajama. “Something Sweet”, the group’s debut album, received no small amount of praise, proving that you don’t have to carry a big stick to get noticed in the family music world – a good thing indeed.

King Pajama was born out of the recording studio, and has, it turns out, never played live. That is about to change. The trio is set to perform their 1st ever concert this coming Sunday, June 6th, at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn. They’ve also lined up a couple more summertime NYC-area gigs, check those out here.

I don’t make it a habit of posting info on a single concert, especially one I’m unable to attend (the Mouse’s B-Day party), taking place in a city in which I do not reside, but this seems like a special enough event to warrant a news bulletin of sorts. After all, how often do you get the chance to see a band play their first gig ever? If you’re in the New York City vicinity this coming weekend, head on over to Jalopy and catch King Pajama live on 6/6/10 @ 3pm. - OWTK.com


Another surprise came in the form of King Pajama’s Something Sweet LP. I consider myself somewhat tapped into the latest in family music, and was not at all aware of this Brooklyn-based crew. King Pajama was formed by husband and wife team Jason and Jena Blechman based on their belief that the power of music can bring families together. Working with accomplished vocalist Nina Zeitlin, as well as a band of skilled musicians, helped bring the project to life.

The first thing that caught my attention with this project was Nina Zeitlin’s vocals. As soon as she launched into the acid-jazz style intro song “Outer Space Boogie” I realized I was on familiar ground that was near and dear to me. A fan of electronica and lounge style music, Zeitlin’s strong, jazzy vocals are the type I usually hear bringing life to the “chill” music genre. Already on board after this cool groove, equally delightful was follow up song “Pieces.” This folky-pop song uses examples like tomatoes (a fruit, not a veggie) and Pluto (not a planet after all) to introduce the complicated concept that all things in life can’t be compartmentalized.

Other instant favorites included the blues-rock lament to the unappreciated “Doormat,” a piano ballad to a “Heavy Coat” and even a bossa nova “Guacamole Time” celebration. It is easy to appreciate a band that genre jumps, and does it with such ease. And throughout, King Pajama never feels the need to down-age their music and lyrics and scare off adult listeners. - Nugget Island


I mean, I could say “Hey, this is awesome—you should buy it,” but that’s not saying nearly enough... These unique songs owe their success to three factors: strong, piano-centered instrumentation; Nina Zeitlin’s rich and melodically-complex vocals; and lyrics that put a surprisingly fun spin on ordinary topics like food and clothing. Each of the ten tracks on the 30-minute album is consistently engaging and worthy of repeated listening. - Art of Irreverence


Looking for kids’ music with a real unique sound? You’re going to want to check out the Award Winning band King Pajama.

King Pajama has a sort of funky-jazzy-bossa-nova type feel. The songs are very hip (you kind of want to snap your fingers along to the beat), the piano is classically cool, and Nina Zeitlin’s voice is rich and smokey.

All of the songs are original compositions. I love the song Some Pieces about how some things just don’t fit into neat categories like Pluto (is it a planet or not) or tomatoes (is it a fruit or a veggie) or, well, all of us!

My son loves What’s Going On? with its bouncy rhythm and silly animal sounds.

King Pajama say they want to “expose children to different musical styles, foster a love of music at a young age, and inspire conversations about music between children and parents.” Excellent! - Boston Children's Music


Certain songs make my arm hair stand up. Jason's sweet piano playing and Nina's soulful voice get me every time. - Singing in the Bathtub


Jason Blechman, Jena Blechman, and Nina Zeitlin comprise the trio King Pajama. Nina's versatile vocals take on the various musical styles (rock, funk, jazz, blues, pop, bossa nova) with verve and pizzazz. Jason gives a terrific performance on piano and keyboards, and other talented musicians perform on guitars and drums. Nina sings 10 songs about topics such as outer space, how things change over time, collecting animals, heavy coats, guacamole, traveling, not fitting in (with appropriately discordant sounds), and chocolate ice cream. While the lyrics are child-centered, the music will appeal to adults as well. This album has a unique sound and it is appropriate for library music collections.-Beverly Wrigglesworth, San Antonio Public Library, TX - School Library Journal


A Brooklyn couple writes a batch of sepia-toned songs, recruits a first-rate vocalist and lands on our top-ten list. That story is what makes the kids’-music world so different from the mainstream: Underdog newbies have a shot. “Heavy Coat," the CD’s gem, is a piano ballad that’ll get kids psyched about winter’s most important accessory. - Time Out New York Kids


This is an appealing concoction of off-the-beaten-path songs by Jason Blechman who plays piano and keyboards, sung by mellow-voiced Nina Zeitlin in a smooth pop, jazz and blues groove. In Blechman's world, a "Doormat" shakes off her dismay at all the muddy shoes she has to put up with. In "Time Goes," the trees change color, children grow up, "and all things have a start and finish." "Some Pieces (just don't seem to fit)" is a list of some exceptions to the rule: Pluto isn't a planet, a tomato isn't a vegetable, a platypus is an egg-laying mammal. A "Heavy Coat" isn't just a jacket, but a dandy traveling companion. The title track is a little masterpiece about a king, his llama, and the invention of pajamas. - Parents Choice


Something Sweet is a generally jazzy album fronted by a female vocalist and backed with excellent instrumental work. "Heavy Coat" has a gospel-tinged sound backed by piano and whistle, even while singing about the "stain on the side, but you wouldn't expect it." "Some Pieces" turns a massive observation about Pluto into a reflective acknowledgment that when you try to divide up the world, "some pieces just don't seem to fit." "Doormat" is a bluesy suggestion to "walk all over me," sung from the perspective of an actual doormat. - NPR's Best Music of 2009


Discography

Something Sweet (2009)

Photos

Bio

King Pajama draws on Brooklyn's eclectic music scene, weaving together family-friendly sounds from jazz, blues, bossa nova, rock and funk. In the summer of 2010 they made the transition from a critically-acclaimed studio project to a live rockin' band. Starting with the "off-the-beaten-path" tracks from their award-winning album Something Sweet, King Pajama refashioned itself as an upbeat, interactive, family-friendly music experience.

Incorporating a stunningly eclectic mix of musical styles, there is never a tired moment in their set. Lyrics, often layered with innuendo and wordplay, range from heartfelt to silly to downright hilarious. So much more than the typical "indie-rock-gone-kids" or "three chord guitar sing-a-long" projects, King Pajama provides a rich musical texture that resonates with all ages.

King Pajama’s debut album, Something Sweet, was named a Top 10 Kids CD of 2009 by both NPR and Time Out New York Kids and won a Parents’ Choice Award.