Improvise With Eric Nagler

Everything about Improvise With Eric Nagler smacks of the showman — from the comically oversize bow-tie Nagler wears in his cover photo to his self-serving jacket notes. If this veteran Canadian children’s entertainer had more charm and wit, he’d remind me of Danny Kaye. But Nagler shares only Kaye’s will cheeriness. And cheeriness in the absence of wit can get old.

These are joke songs, demanding you laugh at them. Sometimes, as in ”The Body Song,” they are very clever: ”If you want to put shingles on the roof of your mouth, would you have to use the nails on your toes? I was sitting ‘neath the shade of the palm of my hand, listening to the drum of my ear.” Your child will get the giggles the first 11 times he hears this. ”Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” is delightful; so is the title piece.

But too often, these songs drown in their own ingenuity.

Nagler tries so hard to see things from a child’s point of view that he loses his own viewpoint and seems merely disingenuous. C

Improvise With Eric Nagler
  • Music