Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dave Grusin - 5 Original Albums (One Of A Kind / Mountain Dance / Out Of The Shadows / Night Lines / Cinemagic)

Five full albums from keyboardist Dave Grusin – packaged together in a single set, with tiny LP-styled covers for each CD! First up is one of our favorites – the album One Of A Kind, which is a sweet funky fusion outing that really sums up some of the best Dave Grusin modes of the 70s! This excellent LP from 1977 really captures the best of the Grusin soundtrack style – heard in the 70s on shows like Barretta, or in films like Three Days of the Condor – mellow fusion with a tightly arranged style – lots of nicely isolated instrumentation, and the kind of spare and spacey grooves that you'd expect from a hip CTI session! Musicians include Grover Washington on saxes, Dave Valentin on flute, Ron Carter on bass, and Steve Gadd himself – plus Grusin on a lot of sweet keyboards – and titles include great cut "Modaji", plus "Heart Is A Lonely Hunter", "Catavento", and "Montage". 

Mountain Dance has a similar vibe, too – nice and lean – and one of Dave's funkier albums of the time – with cuts that include "Captain Caribe", "Rondo", "City Lights", "Rag Bag", and "Mountain Dance". 

Out Of The Shadows has a nice sort of vibe – not the too-smooth later sound of the GRP label, and instead this nice balance of electric keyboards and acoustic piano – delivered with help from key contemporaries who include Lee Ritenour on guitar and Steve Gadd on drums! Production is nicely understated – and titles include the mellow stepper "Serengeti Walk", plus "Last Train To Paradiso", "She Could Be Mine", "Crystal Morning", "Hokkaido", and "Sweetwater Nights". 

Night Lines is a record that has Dave Grusin elevating a bit more into the jazz/soul mainstream – as the set has the keyboardist working with a few more crossover modes than before, but all in a way that seems to demonstrate his many years in various kinds of music! The album was a key entry in the new sound of fusion during the mid 80s – maybe a bit sharper than later smooth jazz, but with efforts from some leading lights of that generation to come – including David Sanborn and Marcus Miller. Phoebe Snow sings a bit on the record – which might provide her with one of her more exciting settings in years – and titles include "Power Wave", "Thankful N Thoughtful", "Night Lines", "Tick Tock", "Bossa Baroque", and "Secret Place". 

Cinemagic is a famous pairing of the keyboards of Dave Grusin with the orchestrations of the London Symphony Orchestra – served up at a level that made the record a giant hit for so many folks who wouldn't have touched a Dave Grusin record a decade before! The tunes are a bit different than usual – all film tunes, as you might expect, delivered in a way that's not afraid to lean on all the sentimental currents of the tunes – which come from films that include Tootsie, Heaven Can Wait, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Three Days Of The Condor, and The Goonies. Titles include "Condor", "An Actor's Life", "It Might Be You", "Heaven Can Wait", "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter", and "Goodbye For Cathy". ~ Dusty Groove

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