Artist – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Title – Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown
Format – CD ( AAD )
Label – Fantasy Records
Originally released in 1964, CD released 1989
This CD somehow found its way into my collection from one of the many roommates I had in college; lost and unclaimed among the multiple move ins/outs. According to Wikipedia, it is the soundtrack to a 1963 TV documentary about Charles M Schulz’s Peanuts comics, which lead to the 1965 animated Christmas special (that was followed by dozens of forgettable sequels).
The album includes “Linus and Lucy” , a song which all Americans hear roughly a billion times every holiday season yet still somehow retains its charm. The rest of the CD is in an identical vein: cocktail hour jazz piano made by, and for, white people. Which isn’t to say that it’s bad, just that I get the feeling that I should be drinking a martini and lounging on Dutch Modern furniture while this plays.
As for the sound, the double bass booms and buzzes, the hi hat spits out of the left channel and Vince’s piano glitters (but not too brightly) to my right. The whole CD seems to be recorded fairly hot and with not as much dynamic range (the difference between the quietest and loudest parts) as I’d like. It’s nowhere near modern loudness war levels, but it isn’t great either. Overall, the recording is still engaging, so it’s worth throwing on during a classier shindig or if you just want to kick back with some single malt scotch.
Amazon has it for fourteen bucks, but lists it under a slightly different title for some reason. Check it out if you want some accessible jazz for your collection.