TORONTO — Acclaimed Halifax jazz drummer Jerry Granelli, who offered the sleek and delicate percussion for the beloved 1965 TV particular “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” has died. His son, musician J.
TORONTO — Acclaimed Halifax jazz drummer Jerry Granelli, who offered the sleek and delicate percussion for the beloved 1965 TV particular “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” has died.
His son, musician J. Anthony Granelli, mentioned the San Francisco-born percussionist and trainer died Tuesday morning surrounded by pals and caregivers at his dwelling in Halifax. He was 80.
The New York-based Granelli mentioned his father suffered from a bout of inside bleeding in late December and spent months in hospital present process remedies that uncovered and exacerbated underlying well being points.
He’d been dwelling for a few months and making regular progress, even educating music to a small group in-person this previous Sunday, mentioned Granelli.
However there was “a cumulative pressure on his physique over these previous bunch of months, which was appreciable,” he added.
“He actually wasn’t anticipated to make it a number of instances,” Granelli mentioned from his dwelling in Brooklyn, noting his father’s loss of life was nonetheless surprising.
“All of his kids dwell outdoors of Canada, so we weren’t there. It is not possible for us to get there anytime actual quickly. However he was not alone. He had individuals with him.”
Granelli is survived by three kids and 5 grandchildren.
The self-described sound artist performed jazz music for the hit CBS adaptation of Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” caricature as part of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, which had the titular musician on piano and Fred Marshall on bass.
At turns upbeat and melancholy, with tunes together with “Christmastime is Right here” and “Skating,” the soundtrack has been a vacation staple for 5 a long time and is an inductee into the Grammy Corridor of Fame.
However As Granelli tells it, when the trio recorded the album, they “did not know essentially, on the time, it was going to be wedded to this TV present.”
They usually made, nicely, peanuts from it.
“I believe they made $68 from that recording session,” Granelli mentioned.
“For a very long time, it was form of a sore spot for him.”
Granelli got here round a few decade in the past when he and his trio began to carry out vacation live shows throughout Canada that includes music and video clips from the TV particular. He noticed how viewers members of many generations liked it.
“Lots of people made some huge cash off of that (TV particular) — he did not,” mentioned his son.
“I am simply glad that he lastly got here to a spot the place he may embrace it and see how a lot pleasure it gave individuals.”
In a 2010 interview with The Canadian Press, Granelli mentioned he did not get any royalties for the soundtrack until it was appropriated for one thing new.
“However individuals would at all times hear it and prefer it. And over time, I believe I started to be thankful for that, that gee, you made one thing that touched any individual. Plenty of somebodies. Hundreds of thousands of somebodies. Generations of somebodies,” he mentioned.
“My children noticed it, and my grandkids noticed it…. I hear it generally and I believe: ‘That is actually good music. There’s nothing sellout or corny about that. That is jazz. It is actually good jazz.'”
A toddler prodigy on the drums, Granelli performed many percussive devices and received his begin within the San Francisco jazz scene, with venerable teams together with Sly and the Household Stone, the Denny Zeitlin Trio and the Kingston Trio. His personal jazz band had a three-month opening spot for comic Lenny Bruce and toured via Europe with the Grateful Lifeless.
Granelli was a talented and daring improviser who liked exploring methods to make use of sound with teams together with Mild Sound Dimension (LSD), which placed on psychedelic mild reveals.
He may by no means sit nonetheless and was at all times attempting to study and push the boundaries of what music might be, mentioned his son, who recorded a number of albums together with his father and toured Europe, Canada and the US with him.
“He’s a kind of guys that is a hyperlink again to that point. There’s not a lot of these individuals left,” mentioned Granelli.
“He was a direct line again to studying jazz in golf equipment after which via the avant-garde factor after which into electrical music.”
Granelli additionally travelled the world as a gifted trainer, not simply of music but in addition of meditation and Tibetan Buddhism. The faith introduced him to Halifax in 1987, mentioned his son, noting his dad was a devotee of Tibetan trainer Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and adopted him to town.
For Granelli, Buddhism and the humanities had been linked. And thru the Artistic Music Workshop program, which he based together with his son and ran at the side of the Atlantic Jazz Pageant, he taught musical improvisation however “additionally how that intersects with mindfulness practices,” mentioned his son.
In 2010 Granelli recorded his first solo drum album, “1313,” launched by Divorce Information.
He was additionally an avid painter, drawer and author.
Granelli, who final noticed his father in particular person when he was in an intensive care unit in Halifax in February, mentioned he’d been feeling higher currently and was planning to go to Europe together with his son subsequent 12 months to play music for a few weeks.
“He was trying ahead to what was subsequent, which was his factor his total life,” he mentioned. “He was by no means one to take a seat wherever he was. He was always transferring ahead.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed July 21, 2021.
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press