Tag Archives: Christmas

Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas

Existential cartoon kids and their dog Snoopy make TV Christmas special, bring on the piano jazzman with music tailormade to chilling by the fire. One of the best selling Christmas albums of all times, it’s made up of a mix of standards and remakes with a jazz tinge.

The Vince Guaraldi Trio don’t rock, but definitely swing A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Charlie Brown and his friends were very popular from the fourties through to the nineties. There were movies, the regular cartoon strips, and merchandising, Charlie Brown and Snoopy were everywhere. The characters in Charlie Brown were flawed, sweet, selfish and funny. They had human stories that touched on simple truths. Guaraldi with his jazz roots was a natural to do the soundtrack

I’m a sucker for the little drummer boy and the version that’s here is a killer. Have a listen I can’t really do it justice with words. It puts me in a happy place.

1965, re-released 2006

Instrumental mainly piano, bass and drums, but on a few of the tracks there is a sweet little children’s choir.

Happy and festive you can’t go wrong with this little number. It’s a really sweet piano album that makes me feel calm and happy. It’s also better than your average Christmas album.

Good to work to
Definitely great for work, but maybe ideal for more contemplative tasks. Very calming, at least for me.

A cross between a Christmas album and a soft jazz album.

The Artist/s
Vince Guaraldi was a jazz groover putting out a steady number of jazz recordings and soundtracks from the 50s to 70s. It’s all chilled music. He reported chest discomfort to his doctor who advise him he had nothing to worry about. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

Jerry Granelli – drums
Vince Guaraldi – piano, Hammond organ, arrangement
Fred Marshall – double bass
Additional musicians
Colin Bailey – drums on “Greensleeves”
Monty Budwig– double bass on “Greensleeves”
Children’s choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael California.

Other works
Although of a totally different genre, this is a commercial album commisioned by the Coca Cola company, just like LCD Soundsystem‘s cracker album  45:33 was commisioned for Nike. Maybe they both paradoxically felt free of commercial constraints when they made their album.

Guaraldi has stacks of other albums like this one below, but I’m not enough of a connossieur to recommend anything in particular. Much as I don’t like to do it, but how about you listen to his best of and see what tickles your fancy.

Where Can I buy it, and in what formats
You can get this album most places. It was such a popular album that it has ensured it stayed in print. Of course you can also get it digitally on iTunes. I really like this album, but maybe I’m just sentimental.

The Verdict
Thumbs up, buy it.