Vince Guaraldi – Peanuts Portraits

Vince Guaraldi
Peanuts Portraits
Concord – 2010
Sounds of Timeless Jazz

This vital collection of musical themes written for Charles Schultz’s animated characters is both entertaining and especially nostalgic for those who grew up with the comic strip and subsequent animated television specials. PEANUTS PORTRAITS features the memorable themes associated with such characters as the inimitable Charlie Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, Linus Van Pelt, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Frieda, Schroeder, Snoopy, and Woodstock! These great themes have become as popular as the characters they were written for and are instantly recognizable by anyone who is a Peanuts fan.

Guaraldi wrote several themes for the venerable Charlie Brown including “Blue Charlie Brown (Version #2)” a bluesy composition Guaraldi wrote for A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN the 1963 documentary that was never televised. The song was include in the 1968 television special HE’S YOUR DOG, CHARLIE BROWN. The CD also includes “Charlie’s Blues,” one of many variations on the initial Blue Charlie Brown them.  Lucy and Linus are represented by “Linus and Lucy,” the theme that is often referred to as “The Peanuts Theme.”  “Linus and Lucy” opens and closes this recording (Charles Winston plays the closing theme) and was first introduced on A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS  in 1965.

Sally is represented by “Sally’s Blues,” an underscore Guaraldi wrote for IT’S A MYSTERY, CHARLIE BROWN. Peppermint Patty’s uptempo theme was written in 1967 and aired in the special, YOU’RE  IN LOVE CHARLIE BROWN. Here, Patty’s theme is presented as a slower, ballad-inspired arrangement. Of course, no Peanuts retrospective would be complete without Schroeder, Snoopy or Woodstock who all have their classic themes included.

“Schroeder” is an unaccompanied piano solo that was first heard on A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN; Snoopy’s character has two themes – “The Masked Marvel,” played here as a solo by pianist George Winston and “Joe Cool,” the eternally suave beagle whose second theme offers the cool vocals of Vince Guaraldi himself as does Woodstock’s theme titled  “Little Birdie!” This priceless collection of themes is certain to add value to your CD collection as it is a rare offering of Guaraldi’s performances in all their glory.

Reprinted with permission of…