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One of a Kind

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Album Review

A fairly typical Dave Grusin date from the early days of GRP, this set features five of the keyboardist/producer's originals. The music is often atmospheric and a bit cinematic, with Grusin assisted by the soprano of Grover Washington and flutist Dave Valentin (along with top rhythm section players) on two songs apiece; "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" has Grusin's keyboards joined just by Ron Carter's bass. The music is pleasing, but not too substantial.

Customer Reviews

Official overview incorrect!!

Dave Grusin's "One Of A Kind" was originally issued by Polydor. It was reissued by Gusin's own label GRP Records about a decade after its initial release. This record predates all of his subsequent GRP works. "One Of A Kind" was a breakthrough in terms of jazz based recordings which crossed over into Adult Contemporary and R&B radio formats. There was no "smooth jazz" when this album was issued, and for the official overview to virtually suggest it is just another example of something not so important is irresponsible and misleading. "One Of A Kind" was eagerly anticipated by fans of Grusin's terrific film scoring career and followed his triumphant and unexpected score to the Sydney Pollack/Robert Redford film "Three Days Of The Condor." Grusin was also riding high on the popularity of his now ubiquitous theme for the TV show "Baretta." This record was an instant classic deserving of greater respect from the official reviewer here.

One of the best

Before smooth or pop jazz had infiltrated the musical landscape, groundbreaking instrumental albums were being made by people like Dave Grusin. It may be cliche, but it still sounds fresh and new. Orchestrations are not tacked on as an afterthought (as is so often the case), but are woven into the compositions as necessary components of the whole. "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" is one of the most beautiful instrumental themes written in the 20th century. When I was a 19 year old jazz piano student, using far too much of my technique far too much of the time, my teacher/mentor made me listen to this to get my 'taste chops' together. It made as lasting an impact on me then as Weather Report's 'Heavy Weather" or "Koln Concert" by Keith Jarrett did. I still listen to it regularly and treasure it.


"Not too substantial" says the reviewer. We must have vastly differing tastes! I have been sonically bathed in this album over and over through the years, delighted every time.


Born: June 26, 1934 in Denver, CO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dave Grusin has been a highly successful performer, producer, composer, record label executive, arranger, and bandleader. As a pianist, Grusin tends toward the fusion and smooth end of jazz, but he's primarily an accomplished film and television soundtrack composer. Grusin played with Terry Gibbs and Johnny Smith while studying at the University of Colorado. He was the assistant music director and pianist for Andy Williams from 1959 to 1966, and then started his television composing career. Grusin...
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One of a Kind, Dave Grusin
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