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  • Here's To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!
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Here's To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!

28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 9, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Joined by bassist Christian McBride and drummer Peter Erskine in an acoustic-trio format, pianist David Benoit stitches together a modest but appealing ode to the music of Vince Guaraldi and the cartoon character that affected both of their careers. Half the compositions that make up Here's to You appear on Guaraldi's 1964 television soundtrack A Boy Named Charlie Brown. It's actually Guaraldi's original trio you hear during the opening 50 seconds of "Linus and Lucy," until Benoit's threesome splices in its own improvisation. A bit brief at 42 minutes, the package is nevertheless nicely understated and affectionately played. Some listeners would rather not have a holiday selection at the album's midpoint ("Christmas Time is Here," with harmonies by gospel act Take 6), but the intrusion is minor. Other guests include Chris Botti (adding a tasteful muted trumpet to a Benoit composition, "Linus Tells Charlie"), Michael Brecker (tenor sax on the swinging "Freda"), and Al Jarreau on the concluding "Happiness." --Terry Wood

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: May 9, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: GRP
  • ASIN: B00004ST4R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,492 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By S. Fennell on May 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
David Benoit has proven himself a worthy successor to the Vince Guaraldi/Peanuts legacy. Vince passed away in the mid 70's, and in my opinion, some of the musical scores of the Peanuts television specials suffered afterwards, until David Benoit became associated with them and helped to return the classic jazz sound to the series. This is a wonderful tribute album on two different levels; to the genius of both Charles M. Schulz, and also to Mr. Guaraldi, the original "musical voice" of the Peanuts animated specials. For starters, David Benoit has once again re-recorded the popular "Linus and Lucy" theme. (It has previously appeared on his "This Side Up" album in 1985, and again, in a revised version, on the 1989 "Happy Anniversary Charlie Brown" album.....not to mention his own "Best of..." CD.) But this time around, the original Vince Guaraldi track forms the basis of the arrangement, with Benoit and Co. improvising over that recording. Great idea! Following that track are re-interpretations of tunes that should be familiar to anyone who was watched "Peanuts" on TV over the years. Everything is performed tastefully and with respect, and includes excellent performances from several "guest stars" in the jazz world. There are also two Benoit compositions on this CD, and it's interesting to see how well he mimics Guaraldi's style, even in the area of composing. Closing out the album is the song, "Happiness", from the Broadway musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown", with Al Jarreau supplying the lead vocal. Will you be moved by this track? Good Grief, yes......
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "musicman61" on April 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Being a long-time fan of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" strip and of jazz, I was very happy to receive this CD as a gift. I had never heard of David Benoit, but after listening to this album over and over, I can say that he is a wonderful, wonderful piano player.
While this album, while looking at it, looks cheesy and very much like it's children's music, Benoit's piano trio (with Christian McBride on bass and Peter Erskine on drums, in case you have any doubts of the swinging-ness of this record) really has created a great jazz album and a fitting tribute to Vince Guaraldi and his music. Many of the cuts have special guests, too.
The album opens with (what else?) the always-recognized "Linus and Lucy," played beautifully by the trio and with Guaraldi's original piano track dubbed in. The trio also adds in a new, funky backbeat-style section in the middle.
"Charlie Brown Theme" is lesser-known, a medium-tempo song. While it is not my favorite, I still enjoy the calmness of it and Benoit's solo is pretty swinging.
"Pebble Beach" is an up-tempo bossa nova number with Marc Antoine joining the group on guitar. The tune is very catchy and it's fun to listen to. Good solos by Benoit and Antoine.
"Linus Tells Charlie," a slower tune, is given a beautiful texture with the addition of the muted trumpet sounds of Chris Botti. A very relaxing tune.
"Frieda" is one of my favorites, and it features Michael Brecker on tenor sax (he's pretty good, don't you think?). Killer solo by Brecker and the amazing chops of Benoit are featured here on this fun tune.
The gospel vocal group Take 6 is featured on Guaraldi's (and Lee Mendelson's) classic Christmas ode, "Christmastime is Here." A beautiful arrangement that makes you wish for winter.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Steven & Camille Ross on June 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you like Charlie Brown...if you like Vince Guaraldi...if you like David Benoit...you'll LOVE this CD! This is an excellent tribute to Charles Schultz, Peanuts, and the music of Vince Guaraldi. Any negative review comes from someone who just doesn't understand... This music will keep the vision and insight of Charles Schultz, and the genius of Vince Guaraldi alive for many years. Bravo, Mr. Benoit!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Williams on May 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you grew up watching the televised Charlie Brown specials as I did, then you'll be thoroughly enchanted as this adorable musical compilation whisks you back to those innocent years. The only thing that would make it more complete would be the voice-over, "Brought to you by the bakers of Dolly Madison donuts and cakes." I smile every time I listen to it. Thank you, David Benoit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Harris on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
David Benoit's latest album pays tribute to two great men who sadly no longer with us, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. The music that Vince Guaraldi composed for the Peanuts specials has not only endured but has gotten even better with age. Benoit is accompanied by bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Peter Erskine who provide tight support for Benoit's melodic playing. The album features great cameos from Chris Botti, Michael Brecker, and Al Jarreau. One of the best jazz releases of 2000, so far.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Barnacle on October 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It's always strange for me to hear reproductions of a work where the original needs no improvement. I have tremendous respect for these musicians, and yes, they play some great solos over the changes, but the album is basically just a recreation of tracks from the EXCELLENT Vince Guaraldi Trio records. My personal favorite is "Linus tells Charlie" which features some very sensitive trumpet from Chris Botti, but otherwise this records is just a little off, and I find myself listening only to the originals these days. The original band with Vince on piano just grooves better, and although from a recording perspective is sonically slightly inferior (they were probably mixing for TV) something about those original performances seem more emotional...is it just nostalgia?

If you are looking for some FANTASTIC recreations of old TV music (e.g. little rascals, looney tunes, etc...) by newer bands, check out the Beau Hunks' material. Superb playing and excellent attention to classic details and nuances of the original scores.
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