Big things do come in smaller packages and this two-disc compilation of career highlight from pianist Vince Guaraldi is the tops for its swinging urbanity and standards with a bossa nova twist despite being recorded in the 50’s and 60’s. His rendition of “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Days of Wine and Roses” still sound as uniquely hip and modern as they no doubt did in their day. Guaraldi’s legacy is foremost defined by his iconic scores for the Charlie Brown TV specials and he probably exposed more Americans to jazz than any other artist. Those snappy trio tracks are present as well as collaborations Guaraldi had with guitarists Eddie Duran and Bola Sete. His affinity for Brazilian music is covered with remastered selections from his durable “Black Orpheus” tribute, “Cast Your Fate To The Wind.” For a musician who anticipated his eventual fame (documented in the great liner notes by Doug Ramsey), Guaraldi didn’t seem to let his popularity overwhelm him. He passed away in 1976 in between sets at a club, playing the music he always loved.
Labels: bossa nova, Fantasy Records, Vince Guraldi