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Teasing the Korean

Did Vince Guaraldi Peanuts Scores Inspire You to Learn Jazz?

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Here is a question for the professional, semi-professional, and amateur musicians here:

Assuming you are of the right age group and watched Peanuts cartoons as a kid, to what degree did Vince Guaraldi's music pique your interest in jazz?  

 

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None. I didn't even realize it was jazz. I thought it was Christmas music. Jazz, to the extent that I knew of it, was either Dixieland, Swing, or smokey nightclub beatnik music.

I saw the original 1965 airing, btw. I was not quite 10. Didn't really watch the others as they aired, so...nope.

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I recognized it as jazz, but had pretty limited exposure to jazz at that point.  I remember learning "Linus and Lucy" by ear when I was 10 or 11.  

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Too old.

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Cast your fate was a big intro to jazz for me, not peanuts score, which to tell you, i associated more at the time with David Benoit doing it, as he did a popular smooth cover verion in the 80s.  

Edited by chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

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Not a musician but probably of almost the right age group. The Peanuts were big on TV here (and I did like watching them) at the time I got seriously into listening to jazz at 14 and buying records at 15 from 1975 onwards but the music to it was about as un-jazzy to me as it could be. More something like elevator music. And unconsciously this rubbed off even later. One of the very few jazz LPs I ever disposed again after having got hold of it (this one was part of a package deal) was Stan Getz's "Children Of The World". To start with,  I was rather underwhelmed by the music (compared to the - much earlier - Getz I liked) but the - in my (then) view - silly and un-jazzy cover no doubt played some part in it too.

(Being totally put off by a cover might in fact be a good subject for a topic all by itself - if it doesn't already exist)

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True story: I had a roommate in college one year (off campus) -- not someone who was into jazz specifically (or someone I ever dated). But she did love a lot of different kinds of music.

And she liked to classify all the jazz I was listening to at the time into three different general categories; Peanuts jazz (i.e. Charlie Brown), Pink Panther jazz, and Batman jazz (i.e. the theme to the Adam West series).

At least a few times week she'd volunteer which category what I had on the stereo fell into.

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I was already there by the time Guaraldi was doing Peanuts music, but even when I began listening to the music, I was looking for something with more depth than Guaraldi could provide.

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17 hours ago, JSngry said:

None. I didn't even realize it was jazz. I thought it was Christmas music. Jazz, to the extent that I knew of it, was either Dixieland, Swing, or smokey nightclub beatnik music.

I saw the original 1965 airing, btw. I was not quite 10. Didn't really watch the others as they aired, so...nope.

I was born that day!  (Dec 9, 1965)  Arrived in the morning, doubt my mom was tuned into CBS that evening, though.

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Did she realize that you were jazz?

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13 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Did she realize that you were jazz?

:lol:  I think I was merely accepted as a little bundle o' love :wub:, though my poll ratings fluctuated wildly during my adolescent years.:ph34r:

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And eventually you became a classic, certified Quadruple Platinum.

See, you didn't need Coca-Cola to survive, you got a life of your own!

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12 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

...And she liked to classify all the jazz I was listening to at the time into three different general categories; Peanuts jazz (i.e. Charlie Brown), Pink Panther jazz, and Batman jazz (i.e. the theme to the Adam West series).

That is BRILLIANT!  I immediately texted this to my wife, who agrees with me that we should start using these as genre categories!

I would guess that "The Duke" by Dave Brubeck would be Peanuts Jazz, and "Stolen Moments" by Oliver Nelson would be Peter Gunn Jazz.  Not sure about Batman jazz.  Maybe some of the more steroid-infused Maynard Ferguson or Buddy Rich charts? 

Was this woman a musician?  I find it infinitely more rewarding to discuss music with informed and passionate non-musicians.  They tend to use very compelling, descriptive language and imagery.

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2 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Was this woman a musician?  I find it infinitely more rewarding to discuss music with informed and passionate non-musicians.  They tend to use very compelling, descriptive language and imagery.

I don't think she had any musical experience at all (none).  She liked music, but entirely as someone who didn't own any music herself (far as I'm remembering - this was almost 30 years ago).  I'm almost positive the jazz she heard me playing all the time was by far the most she'd ever heard jazz.  She didn't listen to the radio a ton, but did hang out with lots of different kinds of people, who listened to music some (and not all the same kinds).

Come to think of it, I think she liked to use lots of different people she knew in various contexts sort of as conduits for her exposure to art and music, and anything else you can think of.  Like somewhere along the line she figured out that one way to get a wide sampling of artistic expression, was just to experience what all sorts of other people sought out and liked.

She was a pretty free spirit, I do remember that.  Sort of a child of the 60's, but circa the early 90's.  She wasn't a stoner (and never drank either, iirc), but she definitely had a little bit of a "hippy"-vibe going for her.

I would say she was very interested in becoming at least a little bit informed about everything, and she was kind of passionate about everything, but in a sort of indiscriminate way.  She liked things, and didn't like other things, but was NEVER overly critical of anything.  She liked making ceramics, iirc.  And dabbled in visual art stuff, painting and such.  Not highly skilled or anything, but she really loved to just try stuff, and see what it was like.

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The only Peanuts I knew about was the comic strip we used to read in the International Herald Tribune because we lived overseas. What planted the Jazz seed in me — which didn’t germinate for many years — was Time for Jazz hosted by Willis Conover on the Voice of America. I still can’t listen to Take the A Train (his introductory theme) without thinking about that show. 

Edited by Brad

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3 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I would guess that "The Duke" by Dave Brubeck would be Peanuts Jazz, and "Stolen Moments" by Oliver Nelson would be Peter Gunn Jazz.  Not sure about Batman jazz.  Maybe some of the more steroid-infused Maynard Ferguson or Buddy Rich charts?

Is "Bluesette" Mannix Jazz, or is Toots' theme not sunny enough? 

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7 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Is "Bluesette" Mannix Jazz, or is Toots' theme not sunny enough? 

Absolutely!  Although I'm not sure Mannix is culturally big enough to warrant its own musical genre! ;)

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We were just talking about Vince Guraldi's influence on us as kids on a gig this week. One guy just picked up a two month road gig playing the Charlie Brown Christmas Show, and thought of it as a great gig playing "sweet jazz" every night, rather than the typical Broadway stuff he had to play to make a living.

The pianist said Guraldi's music had a strong influence on him as a kid, and I can hear it in his use of those chordal fills Guraldi played in some of this pianist's solos.

I fell in love with "Christmas Time is Here" as a kid, and loved the mood that it created with chord progressions I'd never heard before (bVII+11, the #ivm7b5 descending thing), and starting the melody on the maj7 really knocked me out back then.

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21 hours ago, sgcim said:

We were just talking about Vince Guraldi's influence on us as kids on a gig this week. One guy just picked up a two month road gig playing the Charlie Brown Christmas Show, and thought of it as a great gig playing "sweet jazz" every night, rather than the typical Broadway stuff he had to play to make a living.

The pianist said Guraldi's music had a strong influence on him as a kid, and I can hear it in his use of those chordal fills Guraldi played in some of this pianist's solos.

I fell in love with "Christmas Time is Here" as a kid, and loved the mood that it created with chord progressions I'd never heard before (bVII+11, the #ivm7b5 descending thing), and starting the melody on the maj7 really knocked me out back then.

The right hand two-voice harmonizing where he goes from 6ths to 5ths to thirds is very much a Guaraldi trademark.

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1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

The right hand two-voice harmonizing where he goes from 6ths to 5ths to thirds is very much a Guaraldi trademark.

Yeah, he plays a lot of that type of stuff. Gives him a very West Coast sound, where he used to live. He used to play in Papa John Creach's band, in another life.

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