Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Pass the drumstick!

With copies of Guaraldi's score for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving finally landing in the hands of eager fans who've literally waited — in some cases — half a century for this treasure, Sean and Jason Mendelson have been hitting the publicity trail.

Check out the following:

• Sean and Jason's impressively enthusiastic, 35-minutes October 12 visit to the Cereal at Midnight podcast;

• A brief October 13 album plug at Jazz Weekly;

• The New York Times' reader-submitted "Ultimate Fall Playlist," published October 13, with Guaraldi's "Great Pumpkin Waltz" first on the 14-track result (where it's the only instrumental);

• Sean Mendelson's lengthy, 40-minute focus on the vinyl edition, during this October 18 chat with WCB: Jazz Vinyl Collector

• This nifty CNN video plug, citing the album alongside new releases from the Rolling Stones and Nancy Sinatra ... a gathering of 1960s icons!

• Sean Mendelson's 25-minute interview about the album, during this November 8 Neon Jazz Interviews chat;

• The official Lee Mendelson Film Productions Inc. YouTube album playlist.

And a couple blasts from the past:

• Good Housekeepings's "50 Best Thanksgiving Songs for Your Turkey Day Playlist," updated back in November 2021, with Guaraldi's "Thanksgiving Theme" nicely slotted at No. 19; and

• Entertainment Weekly's "15 Essential Songs for Your Thanksgiving Playlist," published in November 2022. The last-place entry goes to Guaraldi's "Thanksgiving Theme." (Hey, it still made the list, right?) In both these cases, the tune now can be heard on its own soundtrack album.

Finally, for those who eschew physical media, links to four different sources that offer digital purchase/downloads of the Thanksgiving tracks. (Qobuz is a reliable seller of lossless downloads; Presto Music is known mostly as a shop for classical music, but they also offer soundtracks and jazz.)

(This isn't a definitive list, merely the most common sources.)

Amazon (MP3) (click on "Purchase Options")

Apple/iTunes (M4A) (may open automatically in Music app, or you may need to click the "open in Music" button)

Qobuz (lossless download, high-res download)

Presto Music (lossless or MP3 download)


Finally, a brief acknowledgment of the holiday that comes before Thanksgiving...

Folks living in or near Chicago won't want to miss the Chris White Quartet's October 29 concerts at Winter's Jazz Club. Chris has been among the most ambitious of Guaraldi's torch-bearers; in addition to a busy annual schedule of Charlie Brown Christmas-themed shows — 23 this year! — in recent years he has branched out to include Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown Thanksgiving gigs ... along with a Latin-themed Guaraldi set in July 2022.

We love this guy!

Friday, October 13, 2023

End of an era?

Has the Charlie Brown Christmas vinyl craze finally played out?

Concord/Craft confirmed that only one vinyl variant will be released this year: the picture vinyl shown at left, available solely from Barnes & Noble.


Although this LP was scheduled to be released on September 22, it's "temporarily out of stock" at B&N's online store. Nor is it available in any of the 21 B&N outlets within 100 miles of our home. On top of which, I have a report from one fan who advance-ordered it online awhile back, and his order was canceled ... which is odd.

Hopefully, it simply has been delayed.

That aside ... goodness, just the one? 

That's quite a reduction from last year, which saw eight variants, as also was the case in 2021. (A complete history of this marketing program, which photos of the variants, can be found here.) Including this year's release, and assuming my math is accurate — and if it isn't, I'm sure somebody will tell me — über-fans will have accumulated 42 LPs and one green 45 single.

I'd love to know what such an individual did with them all.

Display all the discs on a wall? (If somebody reading this actually did that, please send a photo; I'll happily post it here.)

It seems unsatisfying to simply file them vertically, with only their side ID visible, as with a conventional row of LPs.

There's no question that all the vinyl variants released during the past several years helped push the album into the Billboard 200's Top 10 for the past two years. I wonder, then, if that won't happen this year.

I guess we'll find out...