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.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Early work from David Fathead Newman – so early, the cover has him listed as "Dave" on the front! The album steps nicely off Newman's early work with Ray Charles – and does plenty to establish him as a leader on his own – putting Newman's bold, soulful tenor right upfront in the mix – and backing him with small combo players who include Marcus Belgrave on trumpet, Norris Austin on piano, and Hank Crawford on a bit of piano! There's a deep undercurrent that's mighty nice – almost a rootsier quality than on other Newman albums – and titles include "Cellar Groove", "Hello There", "Alto Sauce", and "Scufflin'".
This disc is a bit unusual in a few ways. Vibraphonist Dave Pike sticks here exclusively to the marimba, while pianist Herbie Hancock is heard throughout on organ, an instrument he rarely played again. The band also includes two trumpeters (most notably Clark Terry who has a few short solos) and a rhythm section with guitarist Billy Butler. Most of the music consists of obscurities and is open to the influences of the boogaloo and pop rhythms of the era; highlights include Hancock's "Blind Man, Blind Man," "Sunny" and "Devilette." An interesting effort.
Dave Mason's first solo album was one of several recordings to come out of the Leon Russell/Delaney & Bonnie axis in 1970. (Other notables included Eric Clapton's solo debut and Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen.) Alone Together contains an excellent batch of melodically pleasing songs, built on a fat bed of strumming acoustic guitars with tasteful electric guitar accents and leads…