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Kritzerland Can’t “Wait” For Two Dave Grusin Premieres; “Moon” Swings With Billy May, Too!

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Heaven Can WaitFor more than fifty years, Robert David Grusin – or Dave Grusin, as he’s better known – has been making music to the tune of multiple Grammys and an Oscar, not to mention Golden Globes and various other honors.  Grusin has successfully scored for motion pictures and kept a busy profile in pop, soul and jazz, co-founding GRP Records and encouraging compact disc technology at the dawn of the era.  The Kritzerland label has visited the Grusin well before with releases of his scores to films as diverse as A Dry White Season, Mulholland Falls and Divorce American Style.  Now, Kritzerland is turning its attention to the world premiere soundtrack releases of two of the composer’s finest scores: 1978’s Heaven Can Wait, which netted Grusin an Oscar nomination, and 1984’s Racing with the Moon.  The latter also features a number of vintage songs arranged and conducted by one of Frank Sinatra’s go-to music men, Billy May.  With two scores on one CD, Heaven Can Wait/Racing with the Moon is available for pre-order now.

Based on Harry Segall’s original stage play of the same name previously lensed as 1941’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Heaven Can Wait told the story of football player Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty) who is killed in an accident but returns to earth in the body of a millionaire thanks to his guardian angel (Buck Henry).  The comedy cleaned up when Oscar nominations arrived, receiving a whopping nine nods.  In addition to Grusin’s Original Score nomination, the film competed for Best Picture, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Actor (Beatty), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jack Warden), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dyan Cannon), and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.  Beatty co-wrote the screenplay with Elaine May and co-directed with Buck Henry, and the cast also included James Mason as the mysterious Mr. Jordan, Julie Christie and Charles Grodin.

Kritzerland’s Bruce Kimmel opines of Grusin’s work, “One of the key elements of the film that makes it work so well is Grusin’s score. Composers and directors have to decide how much music any film should have. In the case of Heaven Can Wait, Grusin wrote a short score – Beatty clearly didn’t want the film loaded with music from start to finish. In the end, there was only about fifteen minutes of original Grusin music used, but what music it is! It’s a testament to what Grusin wrote that it seems like there’s much more music in the film than there actually is. His main theme, the jaunty and captivating ‘Heaven Walk,’ is one of Grusin’s most memorable melodies – it’s used throughout and every time it appears it’s like having an old friend say hello. And then there is the gorgeous, simple, but hugely touching music for the romance of the Beatty and Christie characters.”  Newly mixed from the original 16-track masters housed at Paramount, Kritzerland’s Heaven Can Wait presentation is bolstered by seven bonus tracks, all outtakes and alternates.

It’s joined on one CD by Grusin’s Racing with the Moon which features a number of arrangements by the great Billy May (Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly with Me, Trilogy).  Hit the jump for more details, plus the complete track listings for both scores and a pre-order link!

Racing with the MoonRacing with the Moon, directed by Richard Benjamin from a screenplay by Steve Kloves, portrays two friends in 1942 California on the eve of their deployment to World War II.  Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage starred as the young men making the most of their time as civilians with Elizabeth McGovern as the girlfriend of Penn’s Henry.   Kimmel states, “[Grusin’s] tender themes glow with an incandescent beauty – one is period-flavored, while the other is more timeless in feel.  Those themes alternate throughout the score, along with an infectious ‘Moon Boogie’ and ‘Mendocino Station.’”  To add period flavor, the filmmakers enlisted the great arranger Billy May to work his magic on the big-band source music cues.  In addition to his storied albums with Frank Sinatra, big band veteran May also provided charts for the likes of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Vic Damone and Nancy Wilson.  For Racing with the Moon, Grammy Award winner May arranged and conducted recordings of standards by Burton Lane and Frank Loesser (“Says My Heart”), Louis Prima (“Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” and Leo Robin, Richard Whiting and Newell Chase (“My Ideal”).  Kritzerland’s first-time soundtrack release has been derived from the original stereo master tapes housed at Paramount, and its three bonus tracks include May arrangements of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “The Lady’s in Love with You” and “Cherokee.”

Heaven Can Wait/Racing with the Moon is limited to 1,000 units.  It’s scheduled to ship from Kritzerland the last week of November, but pre-orders placed directly with the label usually arrive an average of four weeks early.  You can pre-order below!

Dave Grusin, Heaven Can Wait/Racing with the Moon: Music from the Motion Pictures (Kritzerland KR-20027-2, 2013)

  1. Heaven Walk
  2. Walk to House
  3. Betty’s Entrance/Decision to Farnsworth
  4. Meeting of the Bored
  5. At the Drive-In
  6. Garden Walk
  7. New Goodbye/Last Walk/Last Walk Extension
  8. Max
  9. End Theme
  10. M501 (Unused)
  11. M601 (Unused)
  12. At the Drive-In (Alternate)
  13. M902/M904 (Unused)
  14. M1005
  15. Max (Alternate)
  16. End Theme (Alternate)
  17. Main Title Boogie
  18. Moon Boogie
  19. Movie Madness
  20. Says My Heart (Lane/Loesser)
  21. Library
  22. Mendocino Station
  23. Tree House/Age of Innocence
  24. My Ideal (Robin/Whiting/Chase)
  25. Taking the Plunge
  26. Funereal Theme
  27. Secret Place
  28. Road Play
  29. Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) (Prima)
  30. Reconciliation
  31. Montage Finish/Reconciliation
  32. End Credits
  33. This Lady’s in Love with You (Lane/Loesser)
  34. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Raye/Prince)
  35. Cherokee (Noble)

Tracks 1-9 from Heaven Can Wait
Tracks 10-16 are bonus tracks for Heaven Can Wait
Tracks 17-32 from Racing for the Moon
Tracks 33-35 are bonus tracks for Racing for the Moon

All tracks are previously unreleased.

Written by Joe Marchese

October 21, 2013 at 14:12

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