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The Importance of Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Into my heart on air that killsFrom yon far country blows:What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those?That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain,The happy highways where I went And cannot come again. class="f-right s-img">--A.E. Houseman, A Shropshire Lad (1896)

Vince GuaraldiA Charlie Brown ChristmasConcord Music Group2012 (1988)Is it possible that we could need yet another reissue of the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack? ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Derrick Bang: Vince Guaraldi at the Piano

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Vince Guaraldi at the Piano Derrick Bang 390 pages ISBN: 978-0-7864-5902-5 McFarland Books 2012 Based on Derrick Bang's encyclopedic biography of pianist Vince Guaraldi, you can draw two perhaps surprising conclusions about the subject's contribution to jazz. First, Guaraldi arguably hipped more listeners to this musical form than anyone else since the heyday of the big bands. He did so by means of “Cast Your Fate To The Wind," three minutes of piano-trio jazz that reached #22 on the Billboard hit-singles chart in February 1963; more decisively, Guaraldi provided the musical ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

Vince Guaraldi at the Piano

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This article appears in the prologue of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano by Derrick Bang (McFarland Books, 2012).Prologue: “The Sound of Surprise" Saturday, October 4, 1958: shortly after midnight, at the first-ever Monterey Jazz Festival.It had been a busy day; indeed, it was already a long three-day weekend. Headliner Louis Armstrong--introduced by emcee Dizzy Gillespie--had helped lure a crowd of roughly 5,000 jazz fans to Friday evening's opening-night performances, although one critic was much more impressed by an earlier set from pianist Burt Bales' “boisterous, stomping band," with its crowd-pleasing riffs coming from clarinetist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vince Guaraldi: Peanuts Portraits

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Charles Schulz's Peanuts has been an enduring newspaper cartoon classic since the late 1940s. Its popularity peaked in the 1960s when the series was adapted for the first of many animated television specials, with music written by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. The strips continue to run today in newspapers, 10 years after Schulz's death in 2000.

For Peanuts Portraits, Concord has compiled many of the most popular tunes from the series, originally recorded on LPs; selections that should appeal to both fans of Peanuts and jazz.

Beginning with the first special, December, 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas (continuing to run ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vince Guaraldi: The Definitive Vince Guaraldi

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Many of us were turned on to jazz before we even knew what it was, thanks to Vince Guaraldi. His soundtracks for the Peanuts television specials were a novel idea in cartoon scoring, yet seemed to perfectly fit the deceptively sophisticated adventures of Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. His originals were some of the best jazz to come from the West Coast scene and a tribute to what can happen when a great muse hits a gifted composer.

Of course, Guaraldi recorded other material as well, much of which is still in print thanks ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas

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This 1965 soundtrack has become ingrained in our minds through repeated leisurely holiday seasons with the family in the living room. They're great memories, brought to us by a stellar jazz piano trio that was always on top of the situation. Together, they gave us a no-nonsense setting. Each traditional Christmas song and each Guaraldi original leaves a smile on our faces.

Children's voices add a loving touch to “My Little Drum, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing and “Christmas Time is Here. While their voices are a bit off, it adds a natural flavor to the soundtrack, taking ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas

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If you were born in the sixties or later, there's a good chance that your first exposure to jazz was through the Peanuts Christmas special. Today the whimsical music of Vince Guaraldi seems inseparable from this holiday classic, but it almost didn't happen that way; producer Lee Mendelson originally envisioned either Dave Brubeck or Cal Tjader writing the score, even though CBS felt jazz was unsuitable for a cartoon show. Fortunately the show as we know it took place, giving us not only Guaraldi's best work, but one of the best jazz albums ever in concept and execution to emerge ...



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