Dave Grusin, piano & keyboards
Lee Ritenour, guitar
John Patitucci, bass
Will Kennedy, drums
GRP Records has long been synonymous with quality in contemporary jazz. Founded by Larry Rosen and keyboard player and composer Dave Grusin (GRP initially stood for Grusin/Rosen Productions), the label was among the first to release digital commercial recordings. The imprint has released hundreds of albums by a host of well-known artists, including Lee Ritenour, Diane Schuur, Kevin Eubanks, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, David Benoit, Stephane Grappelli, Gary Burton, John Patitucci, Dave Weckl, Michael Brecker, Larry Carlton, The Yellowjackets, and many more.
Although GRP was founded in 1978, it existed under the umbrella of Clive Davis's Arista label until 1982, when it began operating independently. This week at the Blue Note, label founder Grusin teams up with prolific GRP recording artist Lee Ritenour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the label's independence. The two will be joined by special guests and fellow labelmates John Patitucci and Will Kennedy.
A composer, arranger, and pianist, Grusin has won an Academy Award and multiple Grammy Awards for his soundtrack and production work, which spans the gamut from contemporary jazz and fusion to pop and orchestral music. His discography as a leader is extensive, stretching all the way back to the early 1960s, when he began his career in earnest as the assistant music director and pianist for Andy Williams. Subsequent decades have found him collaborating with Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Carmen McRae, and more.
Of course, one of Grusin's most prolific collaborations has been with Ritenour. The two have teamed up for multiple critically acclaimed albums, including the Grammy-nominated releases Two Worlds (1999) and Amparo (2008). They've also worked together on GRP releases like On the Line (1983) and Harlequin (1985), combining contemporary jazz with classical instrumentation to create what has become their signature fusion sound.
Like Grusin, Ritenour boasts an over 50-year career highlighted by numerous awards, including one Grammy Award and almost 20 nominations, and numerous No. 1 spots in guitar polls. A founding member of seminal smooth jazz group Fourplay, he has recorded over 40 albums and charted almost as many singles. His latest release, Six String Theory (2010), celebrates the instrument that has allowed him the blessing of his tremendous career – the guitar – by assembling a star-studded tribute with 20 of the greatest and soon-to-be greatest guitarists of our time.
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