Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Here's to You Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Children's Music
Joined by bassist Christian McBride and drummer Peter Erskine in an acoustic-trio format, pianist David Benoit stitches together a modest but appealing ode to the music of Vince Guaraldi and the cartoon character that affe... more »
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Joined by bassist Christian McBride and drummer Peter Erskine in an acoustic-trio format, pianist David Benoit stitches together a modest but appealing ode to the music of Vince Guaraldi and the cartoon character that affected both of their careers. Half the compositions that make up Here's to You appear on Guaraldi's 1964 television soundtrack A Boy Named Charlie Brown. It's actually Guaraldi's original trio you hear during the opening 50 seconds of "Linus and Lucy," until Benoit's threesome splices in its own improvisation. A bit brief at 42 minutes, the package is nevertheless nicely understated and affectionately played. Some listeners would rather not have a holiday selection at the album's midpoint ("Christmas Time is Here," with harmonies by gospel act Take 6), but the intrusion is minor. Other guests include Chris Botti (adding a tasteful muted trumpet to a Benoit composition, "Linus Tells Charlie"), Michael Brecker (tenor sax on the swinging "Freda"), and Al Jarreau on the concluding "Happiness." --Terry Wood
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Cheesy-looking, but a truly great album
musicman61 | Evanston, IL United States | 04/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a long-time fan of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" strip and of jazz, I was very happy to receive this CD as a gift. I had never heard of David Benoit, but after listening to this album over and over, I can say that he is a wonderful, wonderful piano player.While this album, while looking at it, looks cheesy and very much like it's children's music, Benoit's piano trio (with Christian McBride on bass and Peter Erskine on drums, in case you have any doubts of the swinging-ness of this record) really has created a great jazz album and a fitting tribute to Vince Guaraldi and his music. Many of the cuts have special guests, too.The album opens with (what else?) the always-recognized "Linus and Lucy," played beautifully by the trio and with Guaraldi's original piano track dubbed in. The trio also adds in a new, funky backbeat-style section in the middle. "Charlie Brown Theme" is lesser-known, a medium-tempo song. While it is not my favorite, I still enjoy the calmness of it and Benoit's solo is pretty swinging."Pebble Beach" is an up-tempo bossa nova number with Marc Antoine joining the group on guitar. The tune is very catchy and it's fun to listen to. Good solos by Benoit and Antoine."Linus Tells Charlie," a slower tune, is given a beautiful texture with the addition of the muted trumpet sounds of Chris Botti. A very relaxing tune."Frieda" is one of my favorites, and it features Michael Brecker on tenor sax (he's pretty good, don't you think?). Killer solo by Brecker and the amazing chops of Benoit are featured here on this fun tune.The gospel vocal group Take 6 is featured on Guaraldi's (and Lee Mendelson's) classic Christmas ode, "Christmastime is Here." A beautiful arrangement that makes you wish for winter."Getting Ready," the seventh cut, is the only song on the CD written by Benoit. It's a pretty straightforward tune that's more rock-ish than the rest. It grooves really hard, though, a fine example of the togetherness of this trio."Blue Charlie Brown" is a simple blues in F with Russell Malone on guitar. This is also the only tune where Erskine takes a solo (1 chorus before the out-head). "Red Baron" is another one of my favorites. Marc Antoine reappears on guitar on this beautiful straight-8ths song. Great solos by all, and this song will stay with you forever, which is not a bad thing. Thanks to Guaraldi for a beautiful tune.The closer, Clark Gesner's "Happiness" from the musical "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown!" is punctuated with the soothing, swooning voice of Al Jarreau. A beautiful song and a beautiful arrangement to end a beautiful album with.Whether you are 3 or 103 years old (or anywhere in between and beyond), this CD is for you. Peanuts fan, jazz fan, music fan...it's all here. A wonderful tribute to the memory of Vince Guaraldi--and great background music for reading the daily strip."
Some of the greatest musicians make a not-so-great album
Bob Barnacle | New York, NY | 10/24/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's always strange for me to hear reproductions of a work where the original needs no improvement. I have tremendous respect for these musicians, and yes, they play some great solos over the changes, but the album is basically just a recreation of tracks from the EXCELLENT Vince Guaraldi Trio records. My personal favorite is "Linus tells Charlie" which features some very sensitive trumpet from Chris Botti, but otherwise this records is just a little off, and I find myself listening only to the originals these days. The original band with Vince on piano just grooves better, and although from a recording perspective is sonically slightly inferior (they were probably mixing for TV) something about those original performances seem more emotional...is it just nostalgia?
If you are looking for some FANTASTIC recreations of old TV music (e.g. little rascals, looney tunes, etc...) by newer bands, check out the Beau Hunks' material. Superb playing and excellent attention to classic details and nuances of the original scores."