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Vince Guaraldi: That Joyous Thing

Despite writing about jazz musicians for over 60 years, I am sometimes sharply reminded that I’ve essentially missed, or badly underestimated, a vital individualist. It happened again on Nov. 28 as I was listening to National Public Radio’s wide-ranging master interviewer, Scott Simon, on Weekend Edition. There was my old friend Doug Ramsey (Rifftides at www.dougramsey.com) playing the music and reminiscing about pianist-composer-leader Vince Guaraldi.

Ramsey had written the liner notes for the recently released two-disc set, The Definitive Vince Guaraldi (Fantasy), put together and produced by Nick Phillips (Concord Music Group’s vice president of jazz and catalog A&R). When another friend, Norman Lear (producer of All in the Family and other popular TV shows), bought Concord years ago, I urged him to realize he was now guardian of the treasures in the Fantasy catalog. With Phillips involved, I am reassured.

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