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Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Marc Davis By

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A Charlie Brown Christmas is the corniest jazz-Christmas album ever made.

And that's OK. It's even good.

I know the dig. What Vince Guaraldi played wasn't jazz, it was lounge music. It was sentimental. It was lightweight. It was sappy.

Yep. All of that.

So what?

Christmas time is about memories. That's what the smells, the sights, the tastes and the music are about. Some are family memories, some are communal memories. A Charlie Brown Christmas is a TV show with a long, sappy communal memory.

If you're a certain age, you only need to hear the opening strains of the children's choir singing "Christmas Time is Here" and it all comes back. Linus and the sincere speech. Charlie Brown and the pathetic tree. And Dolly Madison snack cakes. I never ate them, but I can't separate the two things —Charlie Brown and Dolly Madison. Watching on an old black and white TV in my parent's living room in the 1960s and 70s.

So go ahead. Tell me the show is goofy and the music is shallow. Doesn't matter. In fact, it's impossible to review A Charlie Brown Christmas strictly on its musical merits. Nothing I could say or write would change the way you feel when you hear this record.

Music evokes memories and feelings. And that's good.

You blockhead!

Track Listing: 1. O Tannenbaum 5:08 2. What Child Is This? 2:25 3. My Little Drum 3:12 4. Linus and Lucy 3:06 5. Christmas Time Is Here 6:05 6. Christmas Time Is Here 2:47 7. Skating 2:27 8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 1:55 9. Christmas Is Coming 3:25 10. F?r Elise 1:06 11. The Christmas Song 3:17 12. Greensleeves 5:26

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

Title: A Charlie Brown Christmas | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


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