You're in Love, Charlie Brown
2. The Buggy Ride
4. The Great Pumpkin Waltz
5. Wild Kids
6. Breadline Blues
7. Be My Valentine
9. Re-Run's Theme
10. Linus and Lucy
David Benoit - Piano (tracks
1, 4, 5, 7-9)
John Robinson - Drums (tracks 1, 4-9)
Dave Carpenter - Bass (tracks 1, 4, 5, 7-9)
Christian Scott - Trumpet (tracks 1, 8)
Andy Suzuki - Tenor sax, flute (tracks 1, 8, 9)
Pat Kelley - Guitar (tracks 1, 5, 8, 9)
Wynton Marsalis - Trumpet (track 2)
Eric Reed - Piano (track 2)
Benjamin Wolfe - Stand-up bass (track 2)
Wessell Anderson - Alto sax, soprano sax (track 2)
Victor Goines - Tenor sax, clarinet (track 2)
Wycliffe Gordon - Trombone (track 2)
Herlin Riley - Drums (track 2)
Dave Brubeck - Piano (track 3)
Bob Militello - Flute (track 3)
Chris Brubeck - Electric bass (track 3)
Randy Jones - Drums (track 3)
Taylor Eigsti - Piano (track 5)
Kenny G - Soprano sax (track 6)
Walter Afanasieff - Keyboards (track 6)
Vail Johnson - Electric bass (track 6)
Vince Guaraldi - Piano (track 10)
Fred Marshall - Bass (track 10)
Jerry Granelli - Drums (track 10).
Subtitled "A retrospective of the Charlie Brown
TV themes", this album takes an affectionate look at some of the
jazz tunes used in various television programmes about Charlie Brown
and other characters from Charles Schulz's Peanuts cartoon series.
Pianist David Benoit has freshly arranged six of the themes and the
remaining four were recorded by various groups for different episodes.
This explains the star-studded personnel listed above.
Before David Benoit became musical director for the series,
he was preceded by Vince Guaraldi, who wrote four of the tunes on this
album. Guaraldi's You're in Love, Charlie Brown is a catchy piece
with an engaging lilt. It's a jazz waltz, like Vince's The Great
Pumpkin Waltz, which - according to the sleeve information - is
performed by David Benoit with just bass and drums, although there is
an uncredited guitarist in there as well (probably Pat Kelley). Benoit
has a delicate touch at the piano, which makes the music float weightlessly.
Guaraldi's other compositions are Be My Valentine,
another light-as-air waltz, and Linus and Lucy, performed by
Vince himself. This has the same sort of immediate appeal as Guaraldi's
most famous composition: Cast Your Fate to the Wind, although
it briefly goes into a swinging four-four in the middle.
Compared to the gentleness of these tracks, The Buggy
Ride is a tearaway piece written and performed by Wynton Marsalis,
with some virtuosic trumpet from Wynton, who is at times reminiscent
of Clark Terry's playfulness. Wessell Anderson provides a fluent solo
on alto sax, and drummer Herlin Riley keeps the buggy moving forward
with unstoppable impetus.
Benjamin is by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, with
Bob Militello on swirling flute. Wild Kids has David Benoit
sharing the piano duties with Taylor Eigsti in a performance which is
far from wild but more radiantly optimistic. Dave Grusin's composition
Breadline Blues features Kenny G, the bane of jazz purists, soaring
and assured on soprano sax.
Rollerblading steps fairly benignly into jazz-fusion
territory, with solos from trumpet and tenor sax which strike some sparks.
And Re-Run's Theme is a Benoit composition with a slightly wistful
country feel. All in all, this is a delightful album - even if you are
not a Charlie Brown fan.