Voyage with Steve Kujala, Chick Corea recorded this beautiful, intimate solo piano album. The concept was to tie together several short compositions that he'd been accumulating since the early 70s into a suite that would "convey simplicity as beauty, as represented in the spirit of a child". The result was 20 pieces covering a wealth of different moods in just over half an hour, the many subsequent comparisons to Bartók’s Mikrokosmos well justified.
Longtime Corea fans will recognise earlier appearances of a few of the pieces: Nos. 1, 3 and 6 are reworked Return To Forever themes, Nos. 5 & 15 appeared (with those titles already in place) on 1978's Friends, and No. 9 is Pixieland Rag from 1976's The Leprechaun. On this album they all find their ideal home alongside the others, to the point where everything runs together so perfectly it's hard to pick out favourites. Perhaps it's even counterproductive to do so (although 4, 6, & 10 always come to mind for me, for starters), as Children's Songs is best enjoyed as a suite. And it's a suite with a great postscript on CD editions, in the five minute Addendum for piano, violin and cello.