GRP - A-1023
GRP - GRD 9032
Mountain Dance (6:11)
The Rit Variations (6:24)
Reverend Lee (4:55)
Dolphin Dreams (6:33)
Rio Funk (6:08)
St. Elsewhere (4:25)
With Lee Ritenour
Diane Schuur (vocals), Dave Valentin (flute), Ivan Lins (vocals), Abraham Laborial (bass), Larry Williams (keyboards, saxophone), Carlos Vega (drums)
Produced by Lee Ritenour for Captain Fingers Productions
Not just an album exhibiting jazz stars doing their party pieces, “Live In Session” is the culmination of a lengthy tour crossing both Europe and the United States. Cut at The famous Record Plant in Los Angeles in the summer of 1985, it offers a perfect documentation of what GRP was all about.
Inspired by the highly successful "Harlequin" album, the group of GRP headliners had returned from a number of JVC Jazz Festival dates in the US, and then swung across Europe, appearing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Pori Festival, Montreux and Nice as well. This was followed by a number of concerts in California - including one at the Hollywood Bowl - before they came into the recording studio together.
“Live In Session” is the documentation of the magical sort of interaction individual jazz performers can achieve after this much time together - perfect spontaneity matched with perfect understanding of one another.
The record opens with something very exceptional. For devotees of the exhilarating “Mountain Dance” (and that must include 100% of Dave Grusin's devoted fans plus many more), here is a chance to hear the composer playing a new interpretation of the piece live.
Flutist Dave Valentin is featured next on the tasty “Oasis,” which is full of the energy and charm he infuses into all his performances, with standout solos by the rest of the group. Lee Ritenour follows with his guitar tour de force “The Rit Variations” with Larry Williams complementing him at the keyboard.
Diane Schuur, who can reach you at the deepest places of the heart when singing a love song, really turns on her power to mesmerize when she relates the story of “Reverend Lee.”
What a complete reversal of mood is then achieved when Lee Ritenour picks up the synthaxe to evoke “Dolphin Dreams.” Backed by Larry Williams, this time on saxophone, the atmosphere is at first reverent, then intense, making one almost wonder if these are all real dolphins materialized into humans for the day.
It's back to a Lee Ritenour staple, the Brazilian fusion spellbinder “Rio Funk” next, and the entire group rocks.
The album concludes - obviously leaving you wanting more - with Dave Grusin's theme from the TV series “St. Elsewhere.” And you ask yourself, how can a piece so obviously crafted to be a functional creation, nevertheless engulf you like the best jazz does. Performed live, it sparkles all the more.
In addition to its incarnations on LP and CD, check out the two videos/DVDs made from this Record Plant date.
Go to: "Cinemagic"
Material on this album also released as "JVC Jazz Festival" on CD