Dave Grusin: Two For The Road
The trio, ideally configured with John Patittucci on bass and Harvey Mason on drums, waxes eloquent on the disc's best track, "Mr. Lucky" and a terrific version of "Days of Wine and Roses." Strings are added to good effect for "Moment by Moment" (a nice surprise), "Hatari" (with good tom work from Mason) and "Two for the Road." A small horn section weighs in to funk up the unnecessary up-tempo numbers, "Peter Gunn" and "Baby Elephant Walk." Interestingly, Grusin approaches these tunes on his own terms, as if he wrote them for one of his own films. Vocalist Diana Krall is added for "Dreamsville" and "Soldier in the Rain" and though she sounds fine (in a sweet, overproduced way), vocals seems very intrusive here especially on "Dreamsville," one of Mancini's most beautiful compositions and distract from the beauty of Grusin's performance. "Whistling in the Dark," from Darling Lili, is another after-hours mood piece ideally perfected by Grusin and featuring Tollack Ollestad on harmonica.
Discs like this are often made because there's a built-in audience for the music. That's true here too. Fans of both Henry Mancini and Dave Grusin will enjoy Two for the Road. Piano jazz listeners, however, will also hear some choice playing from an unusually introspective Grusin here too.
Record Label: GRP Records