Glenn Kenny
February 07, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Gershwin Connection

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Dave Grusin
Producers
GRP
genre
Jazz

We gave it a C

The George Gershwin songbook is a national treasure, an inexhaustible source of delight for listeners and a renewable resource for musicians who want to show their inventiveness. Going to the well this time is keyboardist/composer/film-TV scorer Dave Grusin, a purveyor of docile, impeccably played pop-jazz of the sort that sets purists frothing. When Grusin lays off the electronic instrumentation and steers clear of his usual stylistic tics, The Gershwin Connection is almost palatable — a quintet setting of ”Our Love Is Here to Stay” goes down easy and Grusin’s solo-piano rendition of ”Nice Work if You Can Get It” is, well, nice. But when he starts in with the cute chording and polite pastel synthesizer washes that distinguish (so to speak) his other work, the record sinks as surely as, say, tenor sax man Sonny Rollins’ recent impassioned rendition of ”Someone to Watch Over Me” flies. C

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