"Larry does everything, and I do these interviews "
-- Dave Grusin
As a musicians' label, GRP's advantage was the ability to communicate with, and understand the requirements of their artists' needs. Flocking to GRP were such additional names as Tom Scott, Gary Burton and Eddie Daniels. The great jazz master Stephane Grapelli also cut a record for GRP.
That bottom line of making recordings they liked (in terms of sound, sequence, appearance, etc.) was extended to include a development of sales and promotion methods as well.
GRP's marketing procedures were relatively unique, and their small size gave them the flexibility and speed to move rapidly when required, as well as to specifically target their audience, and seldom waste an advertising dollar.
Looking at their success Dave Grusin believes “the business told us what to do. Each situation that came up pointed towards a solution.” He always jokes that Larry Rosen ran the business, and he did the promotional interviews. The reality was that his renowned taste and meticulous care in producing was key to the quality of the product.
Artistically, Larry Rosen felt the standard he wanted to maintain was "the level Dave Grusin would set," indicating “the highest possible quality musicianship in my mind is Dave Grusin.” He believed that, if they could make the music on the label come up to that level in whatever way, that would be an achievement. Their success with discerning fans and critics testifies to the fact that they did exactly that.
For Dave Grusin it was Larry Rosen's energy which carried the company through “a lot of very fallow times, and even carried it through good times which can be devastating in their own way in terms of demands on your time and how much energy it takes to deal with this stuff on a day-to-day basis.”
In any case, both agree that their unique sales strategies had a lot to do with GRP's success. There was no other company marketing the same way, as far as real brand-image was concerned. Having strong individual artists was another important factor. Larry Rosen felt GRP was "a contemporary-type version" of what Blue Note had achieved, "focused on a certain type of music," pointing out "their artists had a lot of longevity ".
Promoting GRP as a "total brand image" gave the label "much stronger presence in the marketplace." Having records which were constant sellers was also a major part of the strategy. As Larry Rosen noted, "that Glenn Miller record, for instance, will sell forever. Dave Grusin sells forever. That's a very strong base."
GRP In The Nineties
Go to Individual Tracks by Dave Grusin