Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Vince GUARALDI - With The San Francisco Boys Chorus 2005
Here it is: the one you've been looking for. Vince Guaraldi with the San Francisco Boys Chorus. Vince recorded this album in 1968 and released it on his own D&D label. Only a limited number of LPs were manufactured back in the day, and distribution was so sparse that the album didn't get much exposure outside of Northern California. The LP slowly fell into obscurity and became known as a prized must-have by avid Vince Guaraldi collectors. The recording is a great mix of classic Guaraldi instrumentals and vocal arrangements featuring the San Francisco Boys Chorus. Because Vince Guaraldi with the San Francisco Boys Chorus is the last of the jazz pianist's original LPs to make the transition to CD, this re-issue is a landmark event for jazz fans in general, and followers of "Dr. Funk" in particular.
In the late 1960s, during an explosion of creative output that included scores for new Peanuts animated TV specials, a simpatico musical partnership with guitarist Bola Sete, and frequent live club dates in Northern California's greater San Francisco area, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi somehow found time to start his own record label.
Whatever the hope and promise with which he began this undertaking - he even named the label D&D, after his children David and Dia - the cold reality must have been disappointing. Guaraldi released only one album on D&D Records, Vince Guaraldi with the San Francisco Boys Chorus, which because of extremely limited distribution was born obscure and became a collector's Holy Grail as the subsequent decades passed.
Most fans didn't even realize they should be looking for it.
Now, thanks to the tireless dedication of Vince's son, David, this album is now been re-issued Vince Guaraldi with the San Francisco Boys Chorus will make its CD debut.
The album's importance, as an essential portion of Vince Guaraldi's oeuvre, cannot be overstated. Self-produced albums were a far greater undertaking, in the vinyl age - in terms of time, effort and expenses - than the comparative ease with which CDs can be made in the 21st century. No doubt Guaraldi hungered for the greater creative control, having recently abandoned his long association with Fantasy Records (and his three-album run with Warners was still a few years in the future). But even though the music itself represents top-notch Guaraldi - he went first-class with the elements most easily under his control, working with numerous sidemen with whom he had grown comfortable over the years, and he secured scholarly liner notes from longtime admirer and San Francisco-based jazz critic Ralph Gleason - getting the album heard was another matter.
Outside his home turf in Northern California, Guaraldi still lacked the name-brand identification that one would have expected for the composer of Cast Your Fate to the Wind and half a dozen Peanuts TV shows. Singles delivered to willing radio DJs were the only means of exposure - no Internet, remember - and Guaraldi must have regarded the result a failure, because he never released another album on the D&D label.
Still, the music endures. Five of this album's original eight tracks - Monterey, My Little Drum, Newport Theme, Spice Island Theme and Theme to Grace - are Guaraldi compositions. The three remaining songs are covers of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby, which Guaraldi frequently played during his club appearances; Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind, which loses some of its melancholia in this breezy rendition; and Richard Boyell's droll little instrumental, Think Drink.
This CD re-issue also features two bonus tracks an alternate version of Newport Theme and a lively rendition of Peppermint Patty, which was hidden on the B side of one of the two singles D&D Records pressed to promote this album ... even though this Peanuts song did not appear on the album itself. Aside from Guaraldi's keyboard work and the vocals of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, the various recording sessions utilized the talents of guitarist Eddie Duran, three bass players (Tom Beeson, Kelly Bryan and Roland Haynes) and two drummers (Lee Charlton, John Rae).
Because Vince Guaraldi with the San Francisco Boys Chorus is the last of the jazz pianist's original LPs to make the transition to CD, this re-issue is a landmark event for jazz fans in general, and followers of Dr. Funk in particular. ”
Eddie Duran- (Guitar),
Vince Guaraldi- (Piano),
Kelly Bryan- (Bass),
Lee Charlton- (Drums),
Roland Haynes- (Bass),
John Rae- (Drums),
San Francisco Boys Chorus.
01. Blowin' In The Wind (3:23)
02. Think Drink (2:53)
03. Theme To Grace (3:31)
04. Spice Island Theme (2:51)
05. Monterey (3:06)
06. Eleanor Rigby (3:44)
07. My Little Drum (3:58)
08. Newport Theme (4:23)
09. Peppermint Patty (2:25)
10. Newport Theme (Alternative Take) (3:55)