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Christmas Time is Here

One of the greatest Christmas albums of all time is A Charlie Brown Christmas. It is so pleasant that you can really listen to it any time of year.  My husband gives me a hard time for doing this, but he knows he married someone who wanted to name her son Charlie after Charlie Brown.

Sixty years ago, Vince Guaraldi took inspiration from Charles Schultz and created something that is unmistakably a “Guaraldi sound.” There is a comfort that comes with hearing A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Years later, the music and movie are still beloved by all ages. It doesn’t matter how many times you have seen or heard it, it’s simply a classic! Guaraldi and Schulz were a dream team complimenting each other; they were magicians.

Guaraldi said, "I want to write standards, not just hits." He did just that, his sound naturally energizes and transports you to a jazzy elegant place in time. His music is a blend of many cultures: Latin, European, and even African…it all comes together as Guaraldi.

My favorite kind of party is the kind with a piano player in the middle of the mix. A piano player is like a magician is for children; they make you smile and leave you wanting more. If the piano player plays Guaraldi, then they make you feel like a kid again. Children of all ages respond to Guaraldi’s music. I think it’s because his jaunty sound instantly puts you in a good mood.

Just like Lucy leans over Schroeder’s piano, party goers naturally want to do the same when there’s a piano player present. Holiday jazz classics spread cheer like no other style of music. Jazz is music of individualism but when you hear old standards done in a jazzy style, it is more expressive than any other kind of music. The piano has an expressive voice right through their fingertips of the musician and the music and mood of the party is created.

Harry Connick Jr, Diana Krall, and David Ian are all jazz musicians of today who have followed suit...each playing piano and creating their own voice through jazz.

Sometimes what sounds fresh are the tried and true classics just updated. That's the way I feel about David Ian's new CD, A Vintage Christmas. There is a cozy warmth felt with his mellow arrangements. Listening to I'll Be Home for Christmas, an intimate mood is created no matter where you listen. Ian's soft piano should be heard at every home this season. Whether you’re at a party or snuggled up in front of the fireplace with some eggnog at home, you will enjoy his vintage sound just as you still enjoy Guaraldi.

David Ian, an Armenian Canadian, is also a rock guitarist. His background in classical piano helped to breathe new life into jazzy Christmas standards. You can hear that Ian was definitely inspired by Guaraldi. He seems to produce that festive vintage sound of the 1950s that never gets old.

Like the song goes…Christmas Time is Here! May you ears and heart be filled with happy sounds and may you have yourself a swingin’ little Christmas!

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...

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