Cut by George Horn at Fantasy Studios and Pressed on 180g Vinyl at QRP
Ever since its debut in 1965, the Vince Guaraldi Trio's album A Charlie Brown Christmas has reigned supreme as a Yuletide classic. The beloved Peanuts animated special from which it sprang was a sensation the first time it aired on CBS-TV, and so was its cool soundtrack by the veteran Bay Area pianist, which introduced countless children to the joys of jazz. Buoyed by annual airings of the program, the album has remained extremely popular ever since and was certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA in late 2016.
While A Charlie Brown Christmas may well be Vince Guaraldi's best-known recording (it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry five years later), it was by no means his first success. The San Francisco native emerged as vibraphonist Cal Tjader's rock-solid pianist before forming a trio and launching his own recording career during the mid-50s on the Bay Area-based Fantasy label. In late 1962, Guaraldi's irresistible original "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" became a surprise national hit - a rare example of a jazz pianist cracking the upper reaches of the pop charts.
Television producer Lee Mendelson heard "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and asked Guaraldi to write the score for A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was such a triumph that Guaraldi composed the music for 17 Peanuts television specials in all, a spectacular streak ended only by his untimely death in 1976 at the age of 47. However, A Charlie Brown Christmas remains the pianist's crowning achievement! Peanuts and Vince Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang even goes so far as to say, "Back people into a corner and limit them to just one holiday album for the rest of their lives, and I suspect that an impressive number of folks, jazz fans or not, would select this one!"
This audiophile edition of the album has been cut by George Horn at Fantasy Studios and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at QRP. The LP comes housed in an old-school replica tip-on jacket, featuring the original 1965 cover art.
Vince Guaraldi (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Colin Bailey (drums)