The second installment of George Winston’s tribute to Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi is a warm, nostalgic compliment to a piano idol.
Winston became inspired to pursue a career in music at the age of 16 after becoming obsessed with Guaraldi’s score of the 1965 holiday classic Charlie Brown Christmas, namely the show’s theme, “Linus And Lucy.” Guaraldi’s signature piece, however, does not appear on this collection of his works as “Linus And Lucy” was the title song of Winston’s first tribute album in 1996. Volume two features some lesser known but still somehow familiar pieces from the Charlie Brown series.
Perfect for a rainy day, Winston’s renditions of these classics are wistful and invoke images of childhood innocence and daydreams with their dynamic and pensive melodies. One cannot help but wonder how much of Winston’s own style was infused into the music as the arrangements of tracks like “Time For Love;” “Woodstock,” and “Love Will Come” appear the same as their Guaraldi versions.
This was an album that was made by George Winston, more or less, for George Winston. He can play the songs, not really a surprised for a professional pianist, as Guaraldi’s music is not particularly technical. Winston or Guaraldi experts might get more out of it, but as long as the original Guaraldi versions exist there doesn’t really seem to be any point in picking up this tribute.