Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"An Evening with Dave Grusin is a renaissance of unique temperament, from keys to vibraphone... It not only offers a kaleidoscope of his and other iconic figures scores such as Gershwin and Mancini, the spin unearths memories from those times when one first experienced the masters music. An Evening with Dave Grusin seeks out your senses and takes you into each note’s psyche as if it was controlling your melodic will. Never have I had a performance, live or studio, capture the essence of why entertainment should be so unique. This script of notes, tones and rhythms define the inner soul of music and the purpose of meticulous sound! The 75-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Florida, follows direction from the brilliance of Grusin with effortlessness precision. The sound that exhumes itself from the orchestra just mystifies logic and bathes our imagination in a historically pioneering froth." -JazzReview.com
"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." -JazzHQ
Down Beat (p.53) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Gary Burton's vibraphone is tough on Bernstein's 'Cool,' and flutist Nestor Torres takes full advantage of the Latin chart on 'I Feel Pretty.'"
JazzTimes (p.52) - "With a lush, full sound and several guest vocalists....A heartfelt legacy project for the 77-year-old."
Composer: Dave Grusin.
Personnel: Dave Grusin (piano); Jon Secada, Monica Mancini, Patti Austin (vocals); Sam Petitti (guitar); Whan Kamnirdratana (harp); Adam Diderich, Daniel Andai, Brett Watkins, Yun Jung Jung, Elaine Li, David Andai, Belinda Ho, Chen Wen Su, Charlie Hardt, Susan Smiddy, Robert Patrignani, Nicole Nutting, Nika Reguero, Al Nicoletti, Jessica Yeh, Jenny Shea, Ross DeBardelaben, Luis Ramirez (violin); David Butterfield, Ryan Gibson, Joshua Shepherd, Rafael Ramirez , April Liberty, Adrian Balahura (viola); Cassandra Rondinelli, Farah Zolghadr, Amy Fiorito, Nestor Torres (flute); Danielle Woolery, Rachel Branzer, Megan Knox (clarinet); Dylan Farnsworth, Jim Drayton (oboe, English horn); Joshua Lindsay, Will Brubaker, Nora McDonnell (bassoon); David Hartsman, Matt Vashlishan, Troy Roberts , John Palowitch, Pat Seymour (saxophone); Augie Haas, Rodrigo Gallardo, Mike Cordone, Cisco Dimas, Arturo Sandoval (trumpet); Garrett Arrowood, Paul Deemer, Chad Bernstein (trombone); Casey Maltese, Dana Weber, Stan Spinola (horns); Gary Burton (vibraphone); Daniel Susnjar (drums); Cliff Sutton, Jose Lacerda, Alex Appel, Sammy Figueroa (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Frank Filipetti; Phil Ramone; Seth Presant.
Liner Note Author: Larry Rosen .
Recording information: James L. Knight Concert Hall, Adrienne Arsht Center For (12/04/2009).
Photographer: Daniel Azoulay.
Arranger: Dave Grusin.
An Evening with Dave Grusin is essentially the soundtrack to the Blu-Ray DVD product, and an app for the iPad, both of which have loads more features. The composer, arranger, and pianist conducts the 75-piece Henry Mancini Orchestra in a live program of his own music -- tunes written for cinema -- as well as the works of composers Gershwin, Bernstein, and Mancini. The show was co-produced by Grusin's longstanding business associate and collaborator Larry Rosen and Phil Ramone. The personnel includes guest appearances by vocalists Patti Austin, Jon Secada, and Monica Mancini, and instrumentalists Gary Burton, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, and Sammy Figueroa. Ultimately it's the music that matters and Grusin is in fine form, playing piano and conducting this orchestra. A dramatic version of his "Fratelli Chase" (from the score of the film Goonies) opens the set and is quickly followed by a romantic, nostalgic version of the theme from On Golden Pond, juxtaposed quite jarringly in a medley with his "New Hampshite Hornpipe." Austin appears on "Makin' Whoopee" (which he didn't write but which appeared in The Fabulous Baker Boys, a film he scored. The program moves on with the tribute section of the evening as Grusin and orchestra perform a medley from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, followed by a selection of Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim tunes from West Side Story. Burton's vibes appear on "Cool," and Secada and Austin duet on "Somewhere." Somewhere throws a curve here conducting and playing piano in the lengthy, near-12-minute "Suite" from the film The Milagro Beanfield War, before returning to West Side Story with "I Feel Pretty," containing a lovely flute solo by Torres. Mancini gets the final tribute with Monica singing a delightful "Moon River"; Burton returns to solo on the "Peter Gunn Theme." The entire show closes on an uptempo note with "Memphis Stomp," from the Grusin-scored film, The Firm. Fans of the artist will take great delight in the program, which stands on its own apart form the Blu-Ray and iPad app. Just over an hour in length, it is near perfectly sequenced, and filled with not only nostalgia but evidence of Grusin's musical sophistication, as well as his accessibility and lasting appeal. ~ Thom Jurek