Today is a classic that I look forward to being able to play every year. I suspect that this album and the songs on it are more well known in the US than elsewhere, as I have heard that the television movie that this comes from gets a regular screening at this time of year.
I am referring to the album A Charlie Brown. No, please, relax; this is not a silly song like the Chipmunks were from earlier in the top 5. This work is by one of my favourite jazz pianists, Vince Guaraldi, whose melancholic lilting tones are so haunting.
He composed the tunes on this album and did some reworkings of a few Christmas tunes as well. Some of the original tunes were used again and again on later Peanuts films/soundtracks, such as Linus and Lucy, which is easily one of my favourite pieces by Vince, and you can listen to that at any time of the year.
But to be able to listen to it at Christmas, along with the festive themed tunes is a bonus. And yeah, there is an air of sadness about some tunes, some wistfulness in the playing which is a key feature of Vince, but as this album is a look at Christmas through the eyes of the knowing Peanuts gang, it is appropriate. Christmas is meant to be happy, but you can’t have the happy without the sad; the joy without the despair; the sweet without a little touch of sour. Otherwise, how would we ever be able to tell the difference?
Anyhow, I expecially love this Christmas album. I hope you enjoy this selection from it.
<disclaimer – you might have to listen to it at YouTube – “Sorry about that Chief”>