Saturday, May 10, 2014

CD Review: Vince Guaraldi Trio Celebrates 50 Years of "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" Never Airing

The great jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi is the focus of one of the Concord Music Group's premier reissues, "A Boy Named Charlie Brown." The soundtrack was originally recorded and released back in 1964 to co-inside with a brand-new TV documentary "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," but the show never aired on television. The original show was a documentary about Peanuts creator Charles M. Shulz, but due to TV network programming, the show never aired, but Fantasy Records still released the soundtrack. Without much promotion, it did not fair well and was forgotten about until its 50th anniversary. On May 13th, the Concord Music Group will release a remastered version of the original soundtrack along with two bonus tracks and a 16-page booklet with new liner notes from Peanuts historian Derrick Bang.

Many of the songs on this release may not be familiar with fans of Charlie Brown or jazz, as one associates the Vince Guaralid Trio with the holiday classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas." The album begins with the all-too short swing of "Oh, Good Grief" and the Salsa-feel of "Pebble Beach," before moving on to more familiar territory of "Charlie Brown Theme" and "Linus And Lucy." The band really gets to stretch-out on the seven-and-a-half minute "Blue Charlie Brown," before the original album closes with beat-heavy rhythm of "Freda (With The Naturally Curly Hair)."

The two bonus tracks are a real treat. The gentle, almost operatic tone of the nine-minute cover of "Fly Me To The Moon" and the shorter, alternate take of "Baseball Theme" only add to this great soundtrack. To find out more about this missing piece of Charlie Brown history, please visit

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