Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A sugar cookie to sweeten your music library.


"A Charlie Brown Christmas", soundtrack to the animated film, was created and performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. While Guaraldi’s success in reflecting the charm and innocence of the Peanuts is to be commended, listeners will most appreciate this Christmas album can be listened to year round.

Rather than pounding Christmas tunes into our heads, Guaraldi (piano) uses them as a map. In between notes of the melodies, the piano folds in and out of chords and slips through strings of fluttering notes. Monty Budwig’s charming walking basslines and Colin Baily’s shuffling yet steady brushwork (drumset) keep Guaraldi’s wandering melodies in check. While many aren’t used to “Chill,” drifting jazz in their Christmas music, the tunes are still recognizable. The genius of this music is its simplicity. The piano wanders whimsically through Christmas tunes we all know, while the bass and drumset stroll along the musics foundation to keep it moving along. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is extraordinary in its simplicity the same way a Sugar Cookie beats super-embellished-death-by-chocolate-cookies.

This album can best be enjoyed with the extraordinarily simple things in life. So grab a sugar cookie, cuddle a blanket (and probably a kitten too) and listen to this album. You may just pass out because life is too good to you.

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