Two For Tuesday: Dave Grusin

Like a lot of early smooth jazz artists, keyboardist Dave Grusin started out playing straight-ahead jazz and gradually got smoother. He has an impressive array of credits writing for the movies and TV, earning an Oscar for Best Original Score for The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “It Might Be You” from Tootsie (1982). He’s written the theme music for a number of TV shows, as well as the score for a number of episodes. He was responsible for the score for the TV movie Prescription: Murder, in which Peter Falk’s character Columbo was introduced.

One of the TV themes he wrote is “Theme from St. Elsewhere” (1982). The show ended in 1988, but the theme is still played on smooth jazz stations.

Dave has collaborated with other smooth jazz artists on some projects, including the album Harlequin (1985) with Lee Ritenour. Here’s “Early A. M. Attitude” from that album. It won the 1986 Grammy for Best Arrangement on an Instrumental, and the album was nominated for several other Grammys.

Dave and his business partner, Larry Rosen, founded GRP Records in 1978. It was one of the first labels to specialize in all-digital productions. It was (and still is) the place to go to hear smooth jazz. Grusin and Rosen left GRP in the hands of producer Tommy LiPuma in 1995 and have since started another label, N-Coded Music (formerly N2K Encoded Music), in 1997.

Dave Grusin, your Two For Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

11 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Dave Grusin

  1. This is one that I don’t mind listening to. I love St. Elsewhere and found it an inventive and one original show. I wish they would being this back in reruns as I would rewatch it. I also love The Milagro Beanfield War which is such an under-rated movie but I recall the music being perfect for the film.


    1. Writing TV theme songs and scores for movies made him a wealthy man. I really could have talked about him sooner than I did, because he’s another smooth jazz pioneer.


    1. I think I saw one or two episodes of it, including the last one which I won’t spoil for you since you haven’t seen it. It was a hell of an ending for a TV series, believe me, on a par with the end of “Newhart.”

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      1. Thanks, John. We have Hulu and I’d like to see a few episodes at least. I was soooo busy during the years it was on that I missed it entirely. Now, I’ve got the time.

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