“While Nicky’s adventures and exemplary taste in music will delight children,
perhaps only their parents will fully appreciate the tremendous care, detail, subtlety,
wit, and love that went into this project. Carol Friedman is the cat’s meow.”
The only thing more delightful than the new book, Nicky the Jazz Cat, is the
odd little ditties every child should know. From the Nat King Cole Trio’s version of
‘Kee-Mo,Ky-Mo’(The Magic Song) and Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Chew Chew Chew’, to
Count Basie and Tony Bennett singing ‘Jeepers Creepers’, the music is a joy. The book
may not mean quite as much to tots as it will to their groovin’parents, but it’s full of cool
pictures by photographer Carol Friedman of such jazz legends as Roy Eldridge, Quincy
Jones, Lena Horne and Lionel Hamptonall cuddling with Nicky, Friedman’s cat.
I have seen lots of jazz books in my day, in fact,I’ve even written a few,
but this is the first time I have ever wanted to describe a jazz book as “adorable.”
The book is “Nicky the Jazz Cat” by Carol Friedman, and it functions equally
well as a jazz photo book either for children or animal lovers.
Ms. Friedman is one of the foremost jazz portrait photographers — as evidenced
by her collection “The Jazz Pictures.” Over the years she got into the habit of
shooting jazz greats in the company of her pet cat Nicky, and she has assembled
these shots into a book, in which the expressions on the faces of such legendary
players as Gerry Mulligan and Lionel Hampton are as compelling as Ms.Friedman’s
photography. In capturing the honest emotion of how Roy Eldridge and Lena
Horne, in particular, react to a surprise visit from a tiny black kitten, Ms.Friedman
has found awhole new way to expose their humanity.
She has also prepared a companion CD, “Jazz For Kids”, which features
13 nonsense and novelty songs performed by such great entertainers as Louis
Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and Nat Cole. As with the book, the art
direction is exquisite,and the adorableness of both makes me want to go out
and adopt both kitties and kiddies.
The New York Sun
Nicky is a small black cat who was adopted by New York photographer Carol Friedman.
Though the idea of a cat walking into the frame in the middle of a shoot might trouble some,
few of Friedman’s clients could resist the charms of this little bundle of fur.
In this rhyme-filled book, Nicky hangs with some of his most musical friends, among
whom are such legends as Lena Horne, Gerry Mulligan and Lionel Hampton.
Even uber-producer Quincy Jones gets in on the jazzy act! With its accompanying CD
of Jazz classics, Nicky’s first book is a perfect gift for any music fan or any parent who
wants to introduce their children to the wonders of music with the help of a cute little friend.
Matthew S. Robinson
The Book Report