Book review: Vince Guaraldi at the Piano

Vince Guaraldi was known as the “Italian leprechaun.” He was short, barely over five feet tall, and youthful looking; this was the reason for his signature mustache, to look older.

If you know the name Vince Guaraldi, it’s probably because you associate the pianist as the composer of the music for the Peanuts television specials, starting in the mid-1960s. However, Doctor Funk, one of his nicknames, codified in a song he wrote and performed a decade earlier, was a well-respected performer and composer in the Bay Area/northern California jazz scene.

Derrick Bang notes in the preface of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano that he was a reluctant writer of Vince’s legacy, expecting that someone more personally knowledgeable of the performer would surely show up to pen his story. Finding none, he put together an almost encyclopedic recollection of the musician’s life Continue reading “Book review: Vince Guaraldi at the Piano”