JVC - VIJ-6338
GRP - GRP 5506
GRP - GRD 8151
FRIENDS AND STRANGERS
DON AND DAVE
Sadao Watanabe (alto sax), Dave Valentin (flute), Tom Browne (trumpet), Bobby Broom (electric guitar), Don Grusin (clavinet, fender rhodes, piano, synthesizer), Marcus Miller (electric bass), Buddy Williams (drums), Roger Squitero (congas, percussion)
Arranged & conducted by Dave Grusin
Produced by Toshio Endo and Akira Taguchi
Recorded at the Osaka Festival Hall on March 16, 1980, “GRP All-Stars Live In Japan” offers all the excitement of a rare Dave Grusin stage performance.
The event was part of a successful tour through Japan, and also taped for television among festivities celebrating the 30th anniversary of Asahi (ABC) Television. (Has anyone a copy of this program?)
This tour, showcasing the talents of new GRP signings Dave Valentin, Tom Browne and Bobby Broom, had been on Dave Grusin's agenda for some years before it materialized in 1980. Now all the elements came into place, and added to the mix of the New-York based band were the tasty bass of Marcus Miller and keyboard talents of old Japan hand, Don Grusin.
Guest star is Sadao Watanabe who joined the New York musicians on the tour. His sax lends particular color to “Friends and Strangers” (studio version to be heard on “Mountain Dance”).
Those well familiar with the Grusin composition “Modaji” will particularly enjoy the spontaneity of this live version of the lead track from “One of a Kind.” This down-tempo interpretation with the backing of strings takes the esoteric tune to new shimmering levels.
GRP headliner Tom Browne adds spice to the multi-faceted “Trade Winds” with his sizzling trumpet solo, while Dave Valentin shines on the atmospheric “Shamballa,” a vehicle which displays his mellow flute playing to perfection.
Don Grusin and Marcus Miller are featured on the bouncy, Brazilian-flavored “Uh Oh,” and there is also a chance to hear a stage rendition of the “Mountain Dance” track “Captain Caribe,” showing off the entire ensemble, particularly Tom Browne and Dave Valentin.
Most of the performance is swinging and funky, but there is one quieter moment, in the form of “Don and Dave,” calling to mind the film scoring side of the composer's gifts. This is the traditional Dave Grusin solo spot, moving through a variety of moods - from a delicate introduction to a slightly gospel-flavored style. Played on acoustic piano, it then moves into an almost ironic phase, returning to a reflective note at the conclusion. Biography? Autobiography?
As an album, “Live In Japan” sets out what GRP was about in its Arista incarnation, and gives a foretaste of the kind of innovation-oriented approach the record company was to have in the following decade.
STRINGS: Minoru Suzuki, Kazuhiko Fujisawa, Masao Kawabata, Katsuhiko Ijiri, Mitsuru Yamanaka, Akio Kawamura, ChizukoTsunoda, Takashi Katoh, TakaoOchiai, Minoru Kanoh, Shigeo Fujimaki, Isao Murakami, Yoichiroh Kobayashi (violin); Kohjiro Takizawa, Yoshiaki Nakatsuka, Katsuhiko Tohyama, Syoichi Hayashi (viola); Tomio Yajima, Hiroshi Tamura, Yutaka Ozawa, Hirohito Kawamura (cello); HORNS: Kunitoshi Shinohara, Kenji Nakazawa (trumpet); Tadataka Nakazawa, Yoshio Oikawa (trombone); Shigeo Fuchino, Yasumasa Kikuchi, Masao Suzuki (reeds); Kenji Shiraishi (percussion)
Executive Producer: Shoo Kaneko
Recorded and Mixed by Larry Rosen
Photographs: Yasuhisa Yoneda
Art Direction-Japan: Kaoru Watanabe
Album Design-Japan: Masaru Hagiwara
Art Direction-USA: Neal Pozner
Go to: "Out Of The Shadows"