Famed for his tenure in the Vince Guaraldi Trio and A Charlie Brown Christmas Jerry Granelli has died aged 80. The television soundtrack album released in 1965 included expanded themes from the animated Peanuts special of the same name plus jazz versions of Christmas music. Son J. Anthony confirmed his father's passing. The drummer had been in ill health and was hospitalised for lengthy periods last year. Granelli joined pianist Guaraldi's trio in 1962. Guaraldi died in 1976. The trio's bassist Fred Marshall died in 2001.
In his later career Jerry Granelli toured with Mose Allison, led his own groups and moved to Nova Scotia in Canada. He also established the Creative Music Workshop in 1996, a long time part of the Halifax Jazz Festival. Of his records in recent years his 2015 record What I Hear Now was notable partly for its highly layered compositional feel, the rhythm-maker at ease and playing loose joined by horns increasingly chamber-jazz like as the album entered deep waters and capable of wildly sprawling touches that know no limits. And his work with Denny Zeitlin and Charlie Haden on Carnival from the mid-1960s stands the test of time. But everything is overshadowed by his association with Guaraldi on A Charlie Brown Christmas which went on a decade ago to be added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.