GRP Founder Dave Grusin on piano and keyboards together with Lee Ritenour on guitar, and special guests Tom Kennedy, Will Kennedy of The Yellowjackets, and Diane Schuur adding her sultry vocals to the mix, created a magical night at the Blue Note in New York City.
GRP Founders Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen celebrated their 30-year milestone anniversary in grand style at the Blue Note in New York, October 9-14, 2012, with Dave Grusin and longtime GRP collaborator, Lee Ritenour, bringing together a host of talented special guests and performing two shows nightly.
We attended the early show on Saturday, October 13, 2012, and we knew that when you team up multi-Grammy winner composer, arranger, pianist, keyboardist Dave Grusin, with Grammy-award guitarist Lee Ritenour, drummer Will Kennedy of The Yellowjackets, Tom Kennedy on bass and upright bass, and Grammy-award vocalist and pianist Diane "The Voice" Schuur, that we were in for a special night indeed.
Will Kennedy on Drums
One of the choice cuts played over the evening included the track Harlequin (Arlequim Desconhecido) written by Ivan Lins and Vitor Martins off Lee's 1985 Grammy-award Harlequin album. Although written with Portuguese lyrics, the band played it as an instrumental piece, and the hauntingly beautiful opening with Dave Grusin on keyboards and Lee's guitar work made it a standout.
Lee Ritenour on Guitar
The band segued into The Village, which they dedicated to the neighborhood, followed by Lee's LA By Bike, a new composition off his Lee Ritenour - Rhythm Session release, before Diane Schuur joined them onstage to perform, Just Found Out About Love, off her Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra 1987 release. Diane opened the song with a nice bit of scat before singing, "I just found out about love, and I like it, I like it..." From the applause, the appreciative audience did as well.
Diane Schuur on Vocals
She also sang, The Very of Thought of You off her 1984 Deedles album on the GRP label, where she held a note so long it was almost possible to see it hanging in the air. Next came the gorgeous, the catchy, rhythmic Louisiana Sunday Afternoon, where the lyrics implore, "the temperature is rising from the heat I feel, desire burning in the street Uh, I'm missing you ..."
Tom Kennedy on Bass
Dave Grusin added a bit of levity commenting, "Lee is so nice he does not really have to play well that well." He then explained that he had met Lee when Lee was 19 years old and playing with Sergio Mendes' Brasil 66, and was impressed by his talent. Over the course of the evening, Lee would play three different guitars to create the sound that he wanted for the songs.
Dave does a lot of film work, and he played an excerpt from the 1988 film, The Milagro Beanfield War, produced by Robert Redfield, and filmed in New Mexico. Although written for classical guitar, he joked that since Lee would not play classical guitar, he would play it on the piano. It was a stunning piece and showcased the Dave Grusin style.
Dave Grusin on Piano
The band brought Diane back, and she launched into, I Got The Music In Me, and then Diane Schuur took over the piano duties from Dave Grusin to close the first set with Billy Joel's, In a New York State of Mind, which was the perfect ending to a great evening of music at the Blue Note celebrating GRP's 30th anniversary. Congratulations to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen on their outstanding achievement.
Read the Interview with GRP Founder Larry Rosen in the Music Scene - Interviews section.
Read the review of GRP 30: The Digital Master Company 30th Anniversary in the Music Scene section.
Visit the Blue Note website, www.BlueNoteJazz.com for information on upcoming shows, including Diane Schuur who will be back performing at the Blue Note in late January 2013.
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