If you’ve spent any time at all in a movie theater or in front of a TV set during prime time over the past four decades, chances are good you’ve encountered Dave Grusin along the way. In addition to a formidable body of work as a jazz recording artist, this pianist, composer, arranger, and winner of 10 Grammys, an Oscar, and has scored some of the most entertaining and enduring films of the past half-century, including The Graduate, Three Days of the Condor, On Golden Pond, Tootsie, The Champ, Milagro Beanfield War, The Firm, and many others. On the small screen, Grusin composed scores and themes for It Takes a Thief, The Bold Ones, Maude, Baretta, St. Elsewhere and other popular TV series. His jazz recordings have topped the charts for the past three decades.
Grusin steps out from behind the various machinations of film and television production to take center stage on An Evening with Dave Grusin, a groundbreaking live recording that captures him conducting and performing with a host of stars, and backed by the 75-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Florida, in December 2009. The album is a collection of 12 songs by Grusin, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Henry Mancini. Guest performers on the date include Jon Secada, Patti Austin, Monica Mancini, Gary Burton, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres and Sammy Figueroa.
An Evening with Dave Grusin, available on CD, Blu-ray Disc and ROBA iPadApp, is the latest installment in producer Larry Rosen’s ongoing JAZZ ROOTS Series, a nation-wide program in major performing arts centers that includes educational and outreach programs designed to connect with local community groups and local school districts. For more info see www.jazzroots.net.
But there’s more to An Evening with Dave Grusin than meets the ear. Grusin and Rosen, partners in innovation since the days of GRP Records in the 1980s, when they pioneered the launch of CDs in America, once again embrace cutting-edge technology with their involvement with music app developer ROBA Interactive, creating an experience that connects the user to this historic performance in an exciting, interactive and unprecedented way. The app is filled with rich multimedia content, including in-depth interviews, music and video clips, producers’ comments, background history, alternate camera angles and more. The CD in conjunction with the ROBA App gives you the complete Dave Grusin experience – the monumental performance with a brilliant 75-piece orchestra, and an in-depth look at the long and prolific career leading up to it. Now you can literally touch the music – and have it respond.
“This recording was a great opportunity to revisit some of my previous film work,” says Grusin, “as well as performing music by George Gershwin, and some material from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, two giants among American composers. And I’m especially fond of the Henry Mancini songs. Hank was a friend of mine, and a mentor who helped so many of us get into the business of film scoring.”
The word “orchestration” can have more than one meaning in a project that involves 75 musicians and a series of high-caliber guest performers, Grusin admits. “Recordings like this can be challenging,” he says. “There are a lot of pieces that have to come together in the right place and at the right time – both in the planning stage and during the actual performance. But everyone was a professional at every step of the process. I’m grateful for the longtime association I’ve had with Larry Rosen, and for the contributions so many other great people who helped make this happen. I think this recording captures some of the work I’m most proud of, along with the work of people whom I’ve admired for many years.”
This groundbreaking project, which is the first music performance to be simultaneously released on CD, Blu-ray, and iPad App brings together a team of world class experts. The team includes award winning producers Larry Rosen and the legendary Phil Ramone; multi-Grammy winning recording engineers Eric Shilling and Frank Filipetti; and the cutting edge iPad App development team from ROBA Interactive. For more info see www.robainteractive.com … as Producer Phil Ramone said, “Welcome to the future of the music biz!”