Contemporary Jazz

VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases

Star-Studded Evening

21 APR 11 JONATHAN WIDRAN

Thirty some years after partnering in GRP Records, a seminal contemporary jazz label that helped pioneer the launch of CDs in America, Oscar and Grammy winning film composer, artist and performer Dave Grusin is still on the cutting edge. Continuing his relationship with Larry Rosen (the "R" in GRP), he makes his live performance Heads Up debut An Evening With Dave Grusin a complete interactive experience that embraces today's unique technology.

They teamed with music app developer ROBA Interactive to connect listeners to Grusin's glitzy performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami in December 2009. The iPad App is filled with rich multimedia content: in depth interviews, music and video clips, commentary, background history and alternate camera angles of Grusin at the piano, fronting the 75 piece Henry Mancini Orchestra. The idea is to "touch the music -- and have it respond."

Tech cool aside, longtime Grusin fans can enjoy this extraordinary recording as a lively, sweeping journey through his colorful, star-studded musical career. The set features Grusin on piano, traipsing colorfully through his many musical endeavors over the past half century. His illustrious film career is represented by "Fratelli Chase" from The Goonies, an On Golden Pond Medley and a 10 minute "Suite from The Milagro Beanfield War," the latter which earned him an Oscar in 1989.

Patti Austin does a witty updated version of "Makin' Whoopee," which was included on Grusin's soundtrack to The Fabulous Baker Boys. In the '90s, he recorded tribute albums to his favorite composers Leonard Bernstein and Henry Mancini -- and perfectly represents them here with "Peter Gunn," "Moon River" and vibrant arrangements of West Side Story classics featuring Austin, Gary Burton, Nestor Torres and Jon Secada.