Guaraldi continues to elicit interest from jazz critics and historians, which of course is marvelous. Late last year, I was contacted by Richard "Doc" Stull, a jazz fan, writer and radio host whose CV reveals that he also dabbles as a musician and entertainer. You can learn more about him at his quite engaging web site.
Anyway, Doc wanted to chat about Guaraldi, and my book; we eventually enjoyed a lengthy phone conversation on February 4. Doc was well prepared, and his questions touched on everything from Guaraldi's childhood to his legacy, with stops along that way that covered bossa nova, the Grace Cathedral Jazz Mass and (of course!) the Peanuts gang.
I was particularly pleased to spend several minutes discussing Guaraldi's recording and performance association with Bola Sete, pictured here. For roughly two years, from March 1964 through February 1966, the Guaraldi/Sete Quartet was the hot ticket in the greater San Francisco area. Their debut run at Berkeley's Trois Couleur was extended repeatedly; they performed together at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival; and they wrapped lines around the building during numerous bookings at El Matador.
"The joy in Guaraldi's jazz is a priceless and timeless gift to music lovers," Doc wrote at one point, during our many e-mails. I couldn't have expressed that sentiment better, and Doc's appreciation for Dr. Funk is evident throughout the lengthy podcast that resulted from our chat. It went up April 3 on the New Books in Jazz website, where you'll also find Doc's generous review of my book. The interview runs 73 minutes; you can either play it via the site's pop-up player, or download it for later listening at your leisure.
Thanks again, Doc. It was great fun.