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GRP All-Star Big Band

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Album Review

When this CD was released, it was a major surprise. GRP is a label whose initial reputation was made on pop-ish jazz. However, co-founders Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen always had a love for the sound of big bands and for hard bop. For this set, they gathered together some of the most notable players on their label to play 12 jazz standards dating from the mid-'40s ("Donna Lee") up to the early '70s ("Spain"). The lineup of musicians is quite impressive, comprised of trumpeters Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, and Sal Marquez; trombonist George Bohanon (who had to be imported since GRP did not have any trombonists); a reed section of Eric Marienthal, Nelson Rangell, Bob Mintzer, Ernie Watts and Tom Scott; bassist John Patitucci; drummer Dave Weckl; and several alternating pianists (Grusin, Russell Ferrante, Kenny Kirkland, and David Benoit), plus such guests as guitarist Lee Ritenour, flutist Dave Valentine, vibraphonist Gary Burton, clarinetist Eddie Daniels, and percussionist Alex Acuna. On the strictly straight-ahead set, which has such tunes as "Blue Train," "Sister Sadie," "The Sidewinder," and "Manteca," all of the musicians are featured adequately. It is a particular revelation hearing Marienthal and Rangell sound passable in this setting. Easily recommended to hard bop and big band collectors.

Customer Reviews


Ridiculously good album! Great selection of old standards. The band is really tight, solos definitely crazy, and Sandoval plays SO high. I've seen a tape of these guys recording this music, and, I gotta say, its cool to actually listen to them over and over again instead of rewinding the tape.

This Is The Album That Got Me Into Jazz!!

It's the best jazz big band album I've ever heard!! No other album out there has a better crew of soloists. You'll hear absolutely amazing solos featuring the trombone, trumpet, piano, sax, flute, guitar, bass, drums, precussion, vibes, clarinet, bass clarinet and picollo. The variety of the songs is perfect. Check out the list of artists on this song and I'll tell you that this album is an important part of jazz history because you rarely see so many talented artists from various labels playing together as a group on one album. Forget buying one song, buy the whole album.

Just outstanding

As the official description said, it was hard to see this really swinging with a lot of outstanding solo artists who haven't necessarily done this sort of thing. If you are looking for a Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, or Count Basie big band, this isn't it. But as someone who grew up learning those very books as a lead tenor player, this album is truly as good as it gets. This group bends the rules in all the right ways, and their individual skills are on display without taking away from the big band sound. Remarkable stuff!


Formed: 1992

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

GRP is best known as a label specializing in slick and accessible jazz, but, in 1992, labelheads Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen decided to put together a conventional but star-studded big band comprised of their company's top players. The recordings featured such musicians as Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Chuck Findley, Dave Grusin, Ernie Watts, Bob Mintzer, Dave Valentin, John Patitucci, and even Tom Scott, Eric Marienthal, Nelson Rangell, and Lee Ritenour playing straightahead charts of jazz standards...
Full Bio
GRP All-Star Big Band, GRP All-Star Big Band
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Customer Ratings