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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released September 1, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Original Jazz Classics

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Fantasy Records

The Latin side for Vince Guaraldi means a brush with both the Brazilian and Caribbean strains of Latin jazz, garnished now and then by an outboard string quartet and graced by four of his own delightful tunes. On Brazilian numbers like "Corcovado" and Brazilian-treated tunes like "Mr. Lucky" and Guaraldi's lovely "Star Song," Vince has drummer Jerry Granelli deploy his distinctive brushes-and-rim-shots bossa nova beat. Jack Weeks supplies bittersweet string arrangements as he tries to grant Guaraldi's wish for a "Villa-Lobos sound," which he does, more or less. Other tunes, like Guaraldi's own happy-go-lucky "Treat Street," "Whirlpool," and Nat Adderley's "Work Song," are treated to gentle cha-cha rhythms. Guaraldi's piano is hauntingly melodic, impulsively swinging, and unmistakable for anyone else's, and the sound is much improved over the LP issue -- especially in the case of the strings, which sound less seedy on the CD. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Fantasy Records

For fans of the innumerable Charlie Brown/Peanuts television specials, Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits is a true goldmine, providing an album's worth of previously unreleased material by pianist Vince Guaraldi, written and recorded for various specials over the years. Brand new, yet instantly familiar, Guaraldi's effortless combination of childlike speech patterns melded with jazz rhythms makes for a style of music uniquely his and his alone. Highlights include two vocals from a group consisting of sixth grade students ("Oh, Good Grief" and version one of "Christmas Time Is Here"), "Linus and Lucy," "Heartburn Waltz," "Camptown Races," "Thanksgiving Theme," "Charlie Brown Theme," "Joe Cool," and yes, "Surfin' Snoopy." A great addition to his other work in the series. ~ Cub Koda
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Fantasy Records

First released on LP in 1980, this compilation concentrates upon bite-sized samples from Vince Guaraldi's Fantasy catalog. Naturally, Fantasy includes famous tunes like "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and "Linus and Lucy," but there are also some superb sleepers ("Star Song," Jobim's "Outra Vez") that display Guaraldi's wonderful melodic gift, and the sessions with Bola Sete are touched upon. As a chronicle of Guaraldi's Fantasy days, the set is somewhat incomplete, for it leaves out all material recorded prior to "Cast Your Fate" and Guaraldi isn't given much of a chance to stretch out. But this is definitely the place to start for someone who has not heard this whimsically inventive pianist. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released July 29, 1988 | Warner Bros.

In his first album for Warner Bros., Vince Guaraldi serves up another delightful, though pitifully short (27 minutes) helping of his themes for the Peanuts TV specials. By this time, like several other pianists, Guaraldi was actively exploring the new sonic horizons offered by electronic keyboards, and so he superimposes layers of electric harpsichord on most of these tracks. Some of the old sardonic spontaneity goes over the side, replaced by an overloaded gee-whiz atmosphere that sometimes gets in the way of the quartet's willingness to swing. But the tunes are marvelous, and since so little of Guaraldi's vast Peanuts output was ever made available, every millisecond of these jazz waltzes, bossa novas and soulful ruminations on Charlie Brown's world becomes cherishable. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Pop - Released January 1, 1989 | Fantasy Records

Originally titled Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown, this is an important album not only because it is Guaraldi's first Peanuts soundtrack, but also because the music heard here probably introduced millions of kids (and their parents) to jazz from the mid-'60s onward. Actually, this music is the score for a documentary on the Peanuts phenomenon called A Boy Named Charlie Brown, which ran before the first Peanuts specials per se appeared on the CBS network. The most remarkable thing, besides the high quality of Guaraldi's whimsically swinging tunes, is that he did not compromise his art one iota for the cartoon world; indeed, he sounds even more engaged, inventive, and lighthearted in his piano work here than ever. It must have been quite a delightful shock back then to hear a straight-ahead jazz trio (Guaraldi, Monty Budwig, bass; Colin Bailey, drums) backing all those cartoon figures and genuine children's voices, a mordant running musical commentary that made its own philosophical points. The music on this album laid the groundwork for much that was to come; here is the first appearance of the well-known bossa nova-influenced "Linus and Lucy," and fans of the series will recognize such themes from future episodes as "Baseball Theme" and "Oh, Good Grief" (which is a rewrite of the Dixie Belles' hit "Down at Papa Joe's"). The LP came with 12 bonus lithographs of Charles Schulz's celebrated Peanuts drawings. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Fantasy Records

This CD reissue under the OJC imprint brings back the first full session led by pianist Vince Guaraldi. Teamed up with the fine guitarist Eddie Duran and bassist Dean Reilly, Guaraldi swings lightly and with subtle creativity on two group originals and eight standards, including "Django," "Chelsea Bridge," "Fascinating Rhythm," and "The Lady's in Love with You." Tasteful music. ~ Scott Yanow
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Film Soundtracks - Released August 18, 2003 | RCA Bluebird

While many consider Vince Guaraldi's musical contributions to the Charlie Brown television cartoons to be jazz "lite," there are many more who could care less what they think, and there are still more who realize that the late Mr. Guaraldi was a first-rate composer who understood no bounds when it came to creative music. His recordings for Black Orpheus and his sessions with Cal Tjader and Bola Sete reveal a restless musical mind that was far more interested in the nuance of jazz possibility than street credibility. This Bluebird set, comprising the entire 40-minute, seven-section "Charlie Brown Suite," was recorded live at Mr. D's, a famous jazz club in San Francisco, in 1968. This performance has been unearthed from more than 80 hours of unreleased Guaraldi material in an estate looked after by his son, who, along with producer Dawn Atkinson, assembled the tapes for remastering and release for the first time ever. Accompanying Mr. Guaraldi are his own trio and the Amici Della Music Ensemble under the direction of Richard Williams. While audience and bandstand noise is present, so is musical whimsy bordering on genius. The seemingly simple harmonics and snappy melodies that comprised the Charlie Brown pieces are merely the springboard for dizzying, dreamy, and rhythmically advanced, sophisticated composition and arrangement. These seven pieces are, in their way, one of the great treasures in American music and haunted by childlike nursery rhymes while being saturated in jazz; they comprise something unique in the vernacular and are a sheer, warm delight for virtually anyone but the most snobbish and harmonically challenged to listen to. Fans of vanguard jazz and "new" music only need not apply, this is over your head (after all, it has heart and emotion). In addition to the suite, there are three other unique pieces: the original mixes of "Linus & Lucy With Band" and "The Charlie Brown Theme" recorded at Wally Heider's -- the latter complete with harpsichord solo -- and a unique, live, longer version of Guaraldi's hit "Cast Our Fate to the Wind." What all this adds up to is an amazing package that has come from out of the blue to enrich the catalog of one of the great unsung compositional masters in American music. ~ Thom Jurek
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Film Soundtracks - Released October 5, 2018 | Craft Recordings

Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released August 25, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | Fantasy Records

Here is Vince Guaraldi's breakthrough album -- musically, commercially, in every which way. After numerous records as a leader or sideman, for the first time a recognizable Guaraldi piano style emerges, with whimsical phrasing all his own, a madly swinging right hand and occasional boogie-influenced left hand, and a distinctive, throat-catching, melodic improvisational gift. The first half of the program is taken up by cover versions of tunes from the Antonio Carlos Jobim/Luiz Bonfa score for the film Black Orpheus, recorded just as bossa nova was taking hold in America. These are genuinely jazz-oriented impressions in a mainstream boppish manner, with only a breath of samba from Monty Budwig (bass) and Colin Bailey (drums) in the opening minute of "Samba de Orpheus"; an edited version of this haunting song was issued as a 45 rpm single. But DJs soon began flipping the single over to play the B-side, a wistful, unforgettably catchy Guaraldi tune called "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" that opens the North American half of the album. The tune became a surprise hit; Fantasy redesigned the cover to call attention to it, and Vince was on his way to fame as one of Latin and mainstream jazz's most irresistible composers. The whole album evokes the ambience of San Francisco's jazz life in the 1960s as few others do -- and such is this record's appeal that even non-jazz and non-Latin music people have been grooving to this music ever since it came out. ~ Richard S. Ginell

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