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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! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 21, 2013 at 14:12