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Jazz - Released February 17, 2015 | 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.

Though Guaraldi had a little over six more years to live, this was his last commercial release; thus one must rely upon memories of the Peanuts specials for his considerable musical growth during the '70s (particularly in his airborne use of electronic keyboards). This time, producer Shorty Rogers imposed some discipline upon Guaraldi's increasingly eclectic pursuits and pulled an engaging straight jazz album from him, where the focus is primarily on his melodic swinging piano work in his usual mainstream and Latin grooves. The sidemen include many of Guaraldi's colleagues from the Fantasy days and top-flight guests, with the pungent guitar of Herb Ellis featured most prominently, and Guaraldi even takes a rudimentary electric guitar solo himself on "Uno y Uno." Curiously, not a word about Guaraldi's Peanuts scores -- his primary activity at the time -- is mentioned in the liner notes (deliberately, no doubt), and the only hint of a connection is the leadoff tune, "The Masked Marvel." Alma-Ville became available again in 2005, courtesy of the Wounded Bird label. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Jazz - Released May 13, 2014 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released June 30, 2009 | Original Jazz Classics

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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, 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, 2010 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Fantasy Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1989 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | 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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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Fantasy Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 5, 2018 | Craft Recordings

If you love Peanuts, these will be familiar from TV. ~ Bob Hinkle
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | 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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Jazz - Released August 25, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Here, Vince Guaraldi roams farther afield than ever -- playing piano and electric harpsichord, experimenting with sleek string backdrops, dabbling with the guitar -- and yes, he sings, too. Guaraldi's amateur Bohemian vocal charm won't come as any surprise to those who remember "Joe Cool" and "Little Birdie" from his later Peanuts scores; here, he sounds rather endearing in a pair of songs by pop-folk singer Tim Hardin ("Black Sheep Boy," "Reason to Believe"). Elsewhere, there is enough of the old Guaraldi mainstream and Latin jazz piano here to attract the faithful, particularly the lingering rendition of Jobim's "Once I Loved" and another sardonic original, "Lucifer's Lady." Throughout, Guaraldi generally keeps things at a low-key level, which gives this scattershot album at least a veneer of unity. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Fantasy Records

As part of the Fantasy Definitive series, pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi is spotlighted on 31 tracks recorded for the label between 1955 and 1966. This noteworthy compilation focuses not only on Guaraldi as the composer of songs from the Charlie Brown television cartoon, but as a versatile jazz pianist. The Peanuts themes make up eight tracks while the remainder of the set blends music from the LPs Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, The Latin Side of Vince Guaraldi, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Vince & Bola (And Friends)/Live at El Matador, In Person, and A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing. Collectors should take note of the two unreleased bonus tracks "Autumn Leaves" and "Blues for Peanuts," both from 1964. While this double-disc compilation spotlights ten years of a well-rounded career, it's unfortunate that the cover art finds Guaraldi sharing the spotlight with the piano-playing Peanuts character Schroeder, as it may give the impression that this set is dedicated to the Charlie Brown material. ~ Al Campbell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Original Jazz Classics