Wednesday, May 06, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave Grusin

Artist:Dave Grusin
Song:Mountain Dance
Album:Priceless Jazz Collection

Dave Grusin is an award winning film composer but he started out as a jazz musician. So it's not surprising that his jazz recordings have a cinematic feel. He is also considered to be one of the pioneers of what is known today as Smooth Jazz. He was born June 26, 1934 in Littleton, CO. Both his parents were musicians and so is his brother Don Grusin. So it's not surprising that Grusin studied piano as a child. While attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, he played with Terry Gibbs and Johnny Smith. Then he was pianist for Andy Williams from 1959-65. And he worked as a sideman. He started composing for TV shows like The Wild Wild West and The G.I.R.L. From Uncle. His first big film score was the 1968 film The Graduate and he's composed music for many films. He has won several Grammys and his one Oscar was for the 1988 film The Milagro Beanfield War. Over the years he has had one song chart and that was the theme for the TV series St. Elsewhere. In the late 70s, he got back into recording jazz when he formed GRP Records with partner Larry Rosen. Mountain Dance is one of his more popular jazz compositions. Grusin first recorded it on the 1979 album Mountain Dance. Musicians are Ian Underwood and Ed Walsh on synthesizer, Jeff Mironov on guitar, Marcus Miller on bass, Harvey Mason Sr. on drums and Reubens Bassini on percussion. You can get Mountain Dance and the theme from St. Elsewhere on this Verve comp. As co-owner of GRP, Grusin also mentored many musicians including guitarist Lee Ritenour, flutist Dave Valentin and trumpeter Tom Browne. Some have had success in Smooth Jazz and that's why Grusin is a pioneer. MCA/Universal took over GRP in 1994 and Grusin and Rosen started N2K Encoded Music. Grusin still tours the jazz festival circuit and composes the occasional film score. The most recent was Skating To New York in 2013. His latest CD One Night Only was recorded with his brother Don and was released in 2011. Here's Dave Grusin and the GRP All Stars featuring Lee Ritenour on guitar and Larry Williams on synthesizer performing Mountain Dance at The Record Plant in New York 1985. This was released on CD and DVD but is currently out of print.

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