590

Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas 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 from the West Coast scene.

Concord has reissued the original 1966 version of the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas for the holidays with remastered versions of the classic tracks and a few alternates. The original CD version from OJC was long due for tweaking, and this new reissue features crisp new sound with a great deal more depth and warmth ("Linus and Lucy, for instance, has a bowed bass in the head that I had never noticed before on the old CD). Of course all the classics are still here. Guaraldi originals like "Skating and the beautiful "Christmas Time is Here sit comfortably next to breezy versions of holiday classics such as "Greensleeves and "O Tannenbaum.

The extra tracks are merely alternate takes, and unfortunately not extra tracks left off the original release (even though there are songs on the special that aren't on the CD.) In this case, though, the alternates are worthy additions to the playlist; "Christmas Is Coming features an extended piano improvisation and "Greensleeves is given a bossa nova beat (albeit to lesser effect.)

Guaraldi would have been a marginal player in the San Francisco scene had the Peanuts specials come along to bring about his best work, and this remastered CD sounds even better than the original.

Track Listing: O Tannenbaum; What Child Is This; My Little Drum; Linus and Lucy; Christmas Time Is Here [instrumental]; Christmas Time Is Here [vocal]; Skating; Hark, The Herlad Angels Sing; Christmas Is Coming; Fur Elise; The Christmas Song; Creensleeves; Christmas In Coming [alt. take]; The Christmas Song [alt. take]; Greensleeves [alt. take]; Chirstmas Time Is Here [alt. take].

Personnel: Vince Guaraldi: piano; Fred Marshall, Monty Budwig: bass; Jerry Granelli, Colin Bailey: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "The Lightning Bell" CD/LP/Track Review The Lightning Bell
by John Eyles
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Twisted Toons Vol. 2 (The Music of Carl Stalling, Scott Bradley and more...)" CD/LP/Track Review Twisted Toons Vol. 2 (The Music of Carl Stalling, Scott...
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!