Before he met Charles Schulz and Charlie Brown, Vince Guaraldi was a household name in jazz because of his work with Cal Tjader and his success with "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" from his Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus album. The CBS television program A Charlie Brown Christmas spread Guaraldis fame far beyond jazz households. First broadcast in 1965, the show is one of the best-loved animated specials in TV history, repeated year after year during the Christmas season. Charlie Browns struggles against the crassness of holiday commercialism in search of the true meaning of Christmas mirrored Guaraldis philosophy of music. Schulzs story struck in Guaraldi a responsive chord, many chords. The simplicity, the rightness, of the music he crafted to reflect the personalities of Charlie, Lucy, Snoopy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang is greatly responsible for the success of the production.
The hardest task an artist faces is not just to achieve self-expression; that almost comes by definition even if it's difficult to hone that self-expression into something good enough to be art. It is another kind of thing altogether to look at, hear, feel and experience somebody else's artistic expression and then make something of your own which shows empathy, which relates to the other but which still has your own individual artistic stamp.
This is what Vince Guaraldi achieved with his scores for Charlie Brown. He took his inspiration from the creations of Charles Schulz and made music that reflects that inspiration, is empathetic with the image and is still solidly and unmistakably Vince Guaraldi.
Jazz is a music of individualism. As such it is truly a music of people, not styles. Each person develops his own sound, his own voice, his own musical personality which, with some, is expressed only in their own playing. With Vince, the personal sound, the personal voice and the individual musical personality is expressed not only in his playing but in his composing as well. All the characters in Peanuts are artists confronted with the illogical, blind and mechanistic world. It was natural that Vince Guaraldi's music should fit so well.
Randomly Packaged Black or Green Vinyl!
Original Soundtrack Recording of the CBS Television Special
Vince Guaraldi, piano
Fred Marshall, bass
Jerry Granelli, drums
Monty Budwig, bass (Greensleeves)
Colin Bailey, drums (Greensleeves)
1. O Tannenbaum
2. What Child Is This
3. My Little Drum
4. Linus and Lucy
5. Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
1. Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal Version)
3. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
4. Christmas Is Coming
5. Fur Elise
6. The Christmas Song