A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) by Vincent Pomarico

This post was contributed by The Don, Vin Pomarico.

A classic for this time of year, Vince Guaraldi alternates between softly cradling you into a warm comfortable place before ripping it to shreds with some wild jazz piano interludes.  Guaraldi nails a bunch of different Christmas classics, but the stand-out is the original tune, “Christmas Time is Here” which appears as both an instrumental take and features vocals from a California kids choir (I’m partial to the instrumental).

It all sounds good, especially this time of year.  It never gets weird or too high-brow jazz-snobby and the entire album just has a nice swing about it.  You gotta love the stand-up bass walking all over the place and the light cymbal brushing going on in the background to back Guaraldi.  It sounds clean and precise, but not necessarily polished. It sounds like a Jazz trio doing what they do best, playing off each other, and taking turns in the spotlight for the listener’s pleasure.

It’s a great compliment to this classic 1960s classic, one of the few Christmas movies that actually has a religious theme (while managing not to be preachy), and provides an honest and poignant critique about the commercialization of this holiday.

Suitable for: Drinking friends and family while surrounded by egg nog

Appropriate Playback Device: The TV

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