Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

137

Dave Grusin: Two for the Road

By

Sign in to view read count
What can you say about Dave Grusin that hasn't already been said? He's quite simply one of the most universally talented musicians alive today. He's done it all: pianist, composer, arranger, producer, label owner, soundtrack scorer. Unfortunately, with all his other commitments and undertakings, Dave Grusin albums have become fewer and farther between.

This new one is worth the wait! In keeping with the format of two previous albums, this one is a tribute album to Henry Mancini. (The previous two tributes were to George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.) Mancini and Grusin actually had a lot in common in terms of musical expertise and styles, with Mancini being primarily known as a soundtrack composer and pianist, but only secondarily as a jazz artist.

Grusin's performance on this album, both as a player and an arranger, illustrates better than ever what Grusin possesses that so few others do. It's not just his considerable playing and arranging talents. It's class. Good taste. Subtlety and flair. The ability to remain true to the original intent of the song, but inject new touches (such as alternate chord voicings) that raise the song to a new level. Every arrangement seems like it was a labor of love, borne out of genuine respect for Henry Mancini.

As usual, Grusin surrounds himself with top talent, such as John Patitucci, Harvey Mason, Tom Scott, and Paulinho DaCosta. Diana Krall contributes two smoky vocal performances on "Dreamsville" and the beautiful but rarely heard "Soldier in the Rain." "Days of Wine and Roses" finds Grusin soloing particularly brilliantly. Even "Peter Gunn" and "Baby Elephant Walk," nearly dead from over-exposure, get a new lease on life thanks to altered chords and updated rhythms.

1997 has been a great year for Dave Grusin fans. As if this gem wasn't enough, there's Grusin's significant participation on A Twist of Jobim and yet another new Grusin album, this one devoted to West Side Story. Watch this space for a review soon.


Title: Two For The Road | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: GRP Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Adam's Apple" CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Ancient Agents" CD/LP/Track Review Ancient Agents
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "New Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review New Helsinki
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "A Sleepin' Bee" CD/LP/Track Review A Sleepin' Bee
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Astoria Roots Live" CD/LP/Track Review Astoria Roots Live
by James Nadal
Published: May 17, 2017