Various Artists

Good Grief! Charlie Brown: 2 Holiday CDs! [Barnes & Noble Exclusive]

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Without question, the influence of Vince Guaraldi's score for A Charlie Brown Christmas has done more to introduce jazz music to a younger generation than any other television soundtrack in the history of the medium. As a celebration of the 40th anniversary of this famous program, smooth jazz Renaissance man David Benoit assembled a veritable who's who of contemporary and smooth jazz artists to pay homage to the instantly recognizable score. This two-CD package assembles the best of both worlds and more than delivers the goods. The lively and spirited performances and melodies of Guaraldi's piano phrasing remain as fresh today as they did nearly four decades ago, and the tributes found on the second disc are as reverential as possible without simply following the music scores. If there ever was a complete soundtrack to the holiday season that transcends musical tastes and sets the mood for a return to the naïve innocence of Christmas, it's here. And Guaraldi's album, the first of these two discs, is not just one of the best holiday albums ever made, it's also an ideal introduction to the world of jazz.

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