Close your eyes and you can imagine Vince Guaraldi banging this out—or, of course, Keith Jarrett. Even without the lyrics of one of their finest funny-sad dramatic monologues, even without the sax of Tom Scott, even if the song crossed the line from homage into infringement,* this remains a tuneful peak in the SD catalogue.
* Jarrett won the case and got/gets a share of the royalties. He had a written credit on the song for a while in the 1990s, but no more; wonder why. I bet Jarrett wishes he had Jeff Porcaro on drums for his session.