DAVID BENOIT: Jazz For Peanuts (Label: Peak)

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DAVID BENOIT: Jazz For Peanuts

The iconic Peanuts cartoons have never really taken off in the UK. In the States, however, (and parts of mainland Europe for that matter) the laconic Schultz creations are devoured by millions of adoring addicts and equally the music that accompanies the TV specials regularly scales the charts and wins coveted awards. In recent years David Benoit has become the musical director of the shows and his own love for the characters and their philosophic comings and goings have turned him into a kind of curator/protector of the legacy. This album is a personal selection by Benoit of ten cuts that he sees as being representative of the Peanuts’ shows’ musical ethic and because the brand has such a hold over America the piano man has been able to bring in some big names to help him deliver. Featured artists include Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck and Kenny G and together they deliver a soundscape that can be considered as either incidental or freestanding. As incidental movie music, tunes like ‘The Buggy Ride’ and ‘Rollerblading’ evoke the implied movement while as freestanding pieces, melodies like ‘Be My Valentine’ and the ‘Mountain Dance’-flavoured ‘Wild Kids’ deliver. Best known cut is possibly the Vince Guaraldi-led ‘Linus And Lucy’ – the trio piece that properly launched the Peanuts’ musical tradition; but, as I implied up top, it will mean much more in the States than in the UK.
(BB) 3/5