Dave Grusin

Dave Grusin
Born in Littleton, Colorado
June 26, 1934

One of the top ten film scorers of his generation, Dave Grusin is possibly even more renowned as a jazz artist and founder of the prestige independent record company GRP.

A piano graduate of the University of Colorado in 1956, he grew up with a classical music background, his father, Henri Grusin, having been a professional violinist.

First break in show business came as musical director for Andy Williams, playing piano on a string of singles and more than a half dozen of the singer’s best-selling albums, in addition to serving as leader of the Dave Grusin Orchestra on “The Andy Williams Show.”

During the period Dave Grusin also cut three headliner jazz LPs for Epic and Columbia. Developing a reputation as the man to call when a record project was struggling or required that something extra, his participation in numerous recording sessions through the following dozen years was then “limited” to being sideman, arranger, conductor and/or producer.

However, his prime focus from the late sixties onwards was on composing for the screen. Initial theatrical release was the 1967 “Divorce American Style” with Debbie Reynolds and Dick Van Dyke, followed by ground-breaking ”The Graduate.” Two other noteworthy scores in the sixties were those for the literary classic “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and the star-studded “Candy.”

At the same time, Dave Grusin was penning scores and themes for some of the top shows in television, notably “It Takes a Thief,” “Name of the Game” and “The Bold Ones.”

In the seventies he began working with producer/engineer Larry Rosen, putting together albums for young jazz artists on Blue Note and CTI. Their company, Grusin Rosen Productions, then evolved into the record label Arista/GRP in 1978.

Dave Grusin finally returned to the limelight as a featured artist with the 1976 Sheffield Labs landmark album “Discovered Again,” followed the next year by “One of a Kind.” These included some of his own compositions, and set the tone for a jazz orientation which was strong on electronic elements complementing acoustic ones, putting him at the forefront of the fusion jazz movement.

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