Despite the 1964 album cover photo, the Vince Guaraldi Trio renditions on this CD are from his first two Fantasy sessions, in 1956-57. On bass is Dean Reilly; on guitar, Eddie Duran. Both played with Guaraldi at this time in San Francisco's original hungry i cabaret. The trio accompanied everyone from June Christy to Miriam Makeba, and they played a lot of entr'acte jazz, too.
Working with a remarkably resonant, rich-toned bass and a lush-chording guitar, Guaraldi's harmonic imagination and gorgeous melodic sense take on an even more exotic aura than usual. ("Cast Your Fate to the Wind" is seven years in the future, remember.) Nothing frantic here, but the lush colors of "Yesterdays" and the charm of "Willow Weep for Me" remain, nearly 40 years later, a tribute to Guaraldi's remarkable musical sense. It is worthwhile to note here that Guaraldi had a strong influence on the young George Winston.