Book: Derrick Bang/Vince Guaraldi

Derrick Bang, Vince Guaraldi at the Piano (McFarland)

There was much more to Vince Guaraldi (1928-1976) than “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” and his “Peanuts” television sound tracks. Bang’s substantial biography covers the pianist and composer’s life from his pre-Cal Tjader days through success with the vibraphonist’s jazz and Latin groups, his own trio, his collaborations with Bola Sete and the Charlie Brown connection that made him famous. He captures the balance between Guaraldi’s serious and humorous sides. Thorough research and interviews with dozens of persons who knew and worked with Guaraldi make this an engaging read. The book includes an extensive and detailed discography.

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  1. Dr Mike Baughan says

    Thanks ‘Rifftides Staff.” Looks like one to read. If I remember correctly, didn’t Brubeck have something to do with Vince’s getting ‘The Charlie Brown Gig’?

    • Doug Ramsey says

      Only backhandedly. Lee Mendelson, the producer, asked Brubeck first, then Tjader. Both said no. Then he heard “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” on the radio and asked Guaraldi. It’s in the book.

  2. David says

    When I first heard “Cast Your Fate…” on the radio it sounded like the simplest, most basic tune; at least that’s how I remembered it. Several decades later I picked up a cd and discovered that Vince’s rhythmic phrasing of the melody is actually quite subtle. This is a great trick: making the complex sound simple.