The Very Best of Vince Guaraldi

by: Vince Guaraldi

As part of Concord Jazz's Very Best of series, pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi is spotlighted on 14 tracks recorded in the '60s. This set is aimed at the casual listener, highlighting Guaraldi's renditions of standards such as "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," and "The Lady's in Love with You." Two bossa nova-influenced cuts are taken from Guaraldi's album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus featuring the Luiz Bonfá and Antonio Carlos Jobim composition "Manhã de Carnaval," and the surprise hit off the album, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," which was written by Guaraldi and initially used to fill out the album to make it the appropriate length for the medium. It would be impossible to have a Guaraldi compilation without the mandatory inclusion of music he created for the animated Charlie Brown TV specials. In this case, the Peanuts gang is represented by four tracks: "Linus & Lucy," "Charlie Brown Theme," "Christmas Is Coming," and "Christmas Time Is Here." Throughout, Guaraldi is backed by his standard rhythm section of the era, drummer Colin Bailey and bassist Monty Budwig, while Brazilian guitarist extraordinaire Bola Sete is featured on "El Matador." This is a decent budget-line collection, but the better choice is the double-disc, 31-track compilation The Definitive Vince Guaraldi on Fantasy. ~ Al Campbell

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