“GRP came about because we needed some way to get the records out that we wanted to make.”
-- Dave Grusin
When the original contract with Arista had run its course in 1982, the question was to renew it, strike a similar deal with another record company or maybe even quit.
But the enticing proposal was to take the business to another level, and start their own independent company. Even once the decision was made, there were still doubts. Would Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen go in the direction of the kinds of commercial sound which had produced a million seller or stay with jazz which would be more complicated to market?
The freedom to make records they liked themselves, and not worry about the balance sheet would no longer be an option with an independent GRP. A tremendous investment was demanded, not only in terms of finances, but time and energy as well. It would be a matter of taking nothing with them but their experience, the masters and signings from Arista-GRP remaining with the parent company. However, in the end, Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen decided this was the direction they definitely wanted to grow.
Thus was born the digital master company. Larry Rosen says that “the root and foundation for starting GRP” was “the artistry of the musicians and the technology of CD and digital recording.”
"We always had a focus on the sonic aspect of this kind of music," Dave Grusin emphasizes, "because we felt that while the whole pop industry was really making strides in terms of state of the art fidelity, a lot of the jazz stuff was not changing, and we didn't understand why. We thought it could be better for the fans if it sounded a little better."
GRP A-1001 was Dave Grusin's award-winning “N.Y./L.A. Dreamband,” taped at a live concert in Japan, and featuring a combination of funk, jazz, film music and the wonderful concert piece, “Summer Sketches 82” - something which remains extra-special to this day, and made a statement about the artistic range the new company would have.
On the technical side, those visions they'd been harboring about digital technology could now become a reality with the purse strings in their own grasp.
On the other hand, the substantial administrative, promotional and technical resources plus distribution network which Arista could provide would now be the responsibility of 13 people.
Go to: GRP and Compact Discs