Fantasy Records will reissue a remastered and expanded edition of Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Oct. 9, 2012.
The new deluxe CD features 24-bit remastering from the original 1965 analog stereo master tapes and three holiday bonus tracks that did not appear on the original album: “Greensleeves,” “Thanksgiving Theme” and “Great Pumpkin Waltz.” The digi package includes a 20-page booklet featuring memorable Peanuts character images from the beloved “A Charlie Brown Christmas” TV special and new liner notes by Peanuts and Vince Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang, author of “Vince Guaraldi at the Piano.” A green vinyl LP edition also will be issued.
The multi-platinum-selling original soundtrack recording was a Library of Congress National Recording Registry inductee on May 23, 2012 and a Grammy Hall of Fame inductee in 2007.
When Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album was inducted May 23, 2012, into the Library of Congress, it was lauded with the statement, “A Charlie Brown Christmas introduced jazz to millions of listeners.”
“The importance of [that] sentence can not be overstated,” Bang said. Children all over the world who had resisted jazz as the music of their parents were given an introduction. Berkeley-based Fantasy Records released a soundtrack LP of the San Franciscan pianist’s work on the show. Trivia Note: The voices heard on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” are from St. Paul’s Church Children’s Choir in San Rafael, Calif.
For this new edition of the soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas, reissue producer Nick Phillips and remastering impresario Joe Tarantino resurrected the original stereo analog master tapes along with the original stereo mixes. Longtime fans may have purchased the album before, but the sonic differences between the new edition and the album’s debut CD released in 1988 are vastly different, since analog-to-digital conversion has improved over the past quarter century as a side-by-side listening comparison will reveal.
The album’s centerpiece track, today as it was in 1965, is “Christmas Time Is Here,” particularly the long, soulful instrumental version that clocks in at just over six minutes.
The humble Guaraldi told critic Ralph J. Gleason in 1958, “I don’t think I’m a great piano player, but I would like to be able to have people like me, to play pretty tunes and reach the audience.”