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January/February 2009

David Benoit
Jazz for Peanuts: A Retrospective of the Charlie Brown Television Themes
Peak Records

If you like good ol’ Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, you will absolutely dig pianist David Benoit’s latest project. Benoit, as you may know, composed music for Peanuts TV specials for more than a decade and has produced several albums of Peanuts music over the years, including 2005’s 40 Years—A Charlie Brown Christmas, which included several smooth-jazz stars.

The new CD is a celebration of original Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi’s impact on several generations of jazz musicians. It has six new tracks, three composed by Benoit and three by Guaraldi and performed by Benoit. Five of the new tracks are newly expanded arrangements of TV cues that have never been previously released. For example, trumpeter Christian Scott joins Benoit on Guaraldi’s rollicking “You’re in Love, Charlie Brown.” Scott is also featured on Benoit’s own “Rollerblading,” heard in the 1997 direct-to-video special It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown. In addition, the CD includes Guaraldi’s original classic recording of “Linus and Lucy” and full-length, original themes by Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck and Dave Grusin’s “Breadline Blues” as performed by Kenny G.

Originally published in January/February 2009
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