Other pianists Dave Grusin has admired include Ian Underwood, Herbie Hancock, Patrice Rushen, Mike Lang and brother Don Grusin.
“I love to have Ian Underwood there as a swing shift player,” he says,”because he can go whatever direction you need, even as a legitimate pianist. He's a beautiful player.”
Another favorite is Ralph Grierson, whom Dave Grusin names as “one of the best pianists in the world. He has a whole concert career that he does to keep his spirit where he wants it, and then he comes back into town and plays studio calls.”
Richard Tee always ranked high on Dave Grusin's list, for his ideas, the way he “made the music feel good” and his “incredible technique in all the keys.” Marvelling at his “Scriabin technique,” that is, what Richard Tee could do with his hands in order to grab some of the note combinations he played, Dave Grusin comments, “If you can play the right gospel lick in B major as easily as in B flat major, you're incredible.”
About Chick Corea, the composer has found a lot to admire. Speaking as an expert on high productivity, Dave Grusin says he “couldn't believe that one guy could do all he does on a daily basis.”
In terms of musicianship, he says there's no one who plays with Chick Corea's verve, adding “When he writes, you can hear the detail and intricacy.”
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