Guaraldi's good friend and champion Charles "Chuck" Gompertz died October 2, at the generous age of 83. Vince's fans know Gompertz as the Episcopal priest who chose the pianist to compose and perform the Jazz Mass that honored the completion of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in the spring of 1965. I knew Chuck from the many generous interviews he gave during the research phase of my biography of Vince, and from the warm and friendly correspondence — and occasional visits — that resulted from our initial chats, and continued until he died.
The Marin Independent Journal published an informative obituary, which can be read here.
I wish I had a photo of Vince and Chuck together, but — if such an image existed — the latter never was able to find one for me. So I'll settle for the photo here, which certainly conveys Chuck's friendly warmth. I'll miss him dearly.
On a lighter note, fellow Guaraldi fan Jim Ford called my attention to a delightful, long-ago anecdote involving Vince and bassist Chubby Jackson, which is detailed in this November 2008 post in Bill Crow's Band Room. You'll find it toward the top, in the second paragraph. It's a definite smile.
May your holidays be jolly and backed by numerous re-plays of Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas album, and may the New Year bring us ever more exciting developments regarding Dr. Funk.