The Eclectic Vince Guaraldi

by: Vince Guaraldi

Here, Vince Guaraldi roams farther afield than ever -- playing piano and electric harpsichord, experimenting with sleek string backdrops, dabbling with the guitar -- and yes, he sings, too. Guaraldi's amateur Bohemian vocal charm won't come as any surprise to those who remember "Joe Cool" and "Little Birdie" from his later Peanuts scores; here, he sounds rather endearing in a pair of songs by pop-folk singer Tim Hardin ("Black Sheep Boy," "Reason to Believe"). Elsewhere, there is enough of the old Guaraldi mainstream and Latin jazz piano here to attract the faithful, particularly the lingering rendition of Jobim's "Once I Loved" and another sardonic original, "Lucifer's Lady." Throughout, Guaraldi generally keeps things at a low-key level, which gives this scattershot album at least a veneer of unity. ~ Richard S. Ginell

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