The Hang (C.A.R.E. Music)

Don Grusin 

Released August 9, 2004

Grammy Nominee Best Contemporary Jazz Album 2005




Don Grusin was joined on stage by 17 other world-class musicians, including multiple Grammy winners, that includes something for everyone, Latin, African, contemporary and straight ahead; vocals (Phil Perry, Patti Austin, Abe Laboriel, Natali Rene) and instrumentals, culminating with everyone on-stage for a full out jam.

This historic Don Grusin “The Hang” album features a who’s who of the global contemporary music scene, including multiple Grammy winners, who came together to hang out and jam on two new songs and 12 new arrangements. It’s the only time, ever, that this many players of this caliber have come together to perform on the same album.

As befits a gathering of this magnitude, a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-disk, 96-bit, 48-track digital recording system was used to capture the performance in 5.1 surround sound, so that those who weren’t fortunate enough to witness music history being made can still hear and feel every note just as the artists intended!

Track Listing:

1. Let’s Not Talk About It (Don Grusin) 3:39

2. Makossa Beat (Don Grusin) 5:24

3. She Could Be Mine (Don Grusin) 5:44

4. Wait for Me (Don Grusin / Kate Markowitz) 4:52

5. La Dama de la Ciudad (Introductory Song to el Floridita) (Frank Quintero) 0:53

6. El Floridita (Don Grusin / Frank Quintero) 5:35

7. Number 8 (Don Grusin) 7:39

8. Woman (Don Grusin / Tracy Mann) 6:04

9. The Chaser (Sadao Watanabe) 4:31

10. Fresh Air (Don Grusin / Natali Rene) 4:20

11. Catwalk (Don Grusin) 3:22

12. Road Town (Don Grusin) 10:47

13. Oo-Whee the Carnival (Patti Austin / Don Grusin) 3:10

14. She Feels Good (Don Grusin / Ernie Watts) 6:28


Don Grusin: piano/fender rhodes/korg triton

Alex Acuña: drums and percussion
Frank Quintero: vocals and acoustic guitar
Abraham Laboriel: bass and vocals
Natali Rene: vocals
Nathan East: bass
Oscar Seaton: drums and percussion
Pete Escovedo: percussion
Ricardo Silveira: electric guitar 
Sadao Watanabe: alto saxophone


Patti Austin: vocals
Charlie Bisharat: electric violin
Dave Grusin: piano/fender rhodes/korg triton
Harvey Mason: drums
Phil Perry: vocals
Nelson Rangell: flute, piccolo, soprano, tenor saxophone
Lee Ritenour: electric guitar
Ernie Watts: tenor, alto and soprano saxophone

Recorded September, 2003, at Los Angeles, CA

Produced by Don Grusin


Don Grusin’s The Hang is a throwback to the good old days of the New Adult Contemporary format before the sound of contemporary jazz degraded into bland smooth jazz. The pianist rounded up a band of all-stars to jam on this live event, with much of the music originally recorded when the GRP label was in its independent prime. Look at the artists on this bill: Lee Ritenour, Ernie Watts, Alex Acuna, Abraham Laboriel, Harvey Mason, Sadao Watanabe… the list goes on to include a dozen more artists. It’s an amazing blast from the past. It’s especially good to hear Don play again with brother Dave. The Grusin touch is still obvious, though it’s been years since I heard Don on a recording. The Hang has new arrangements of music from Don’s catalog and two new songs. Also reminiscent of the early GRP days is the use of new technology. While GRP was one of the first labels to adopt digital recording and the compact disc format, The Hang utilizes a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-disk, 96-bit, 48-track digital recording system. This was used to capture the performance in 5.1 surround sound. No doubt that this is a treat to the ears, not only from a technological standpoint but also musically.

The Hang is also available on DVD. There are brief comments from Don and other various participants, but it’s all about the music here. That’s a good thing since less than half of these guys have any charisma on camera (go, Abe ). Seeing some of these performances certainly brought songs to my attention that the CD had not. Frank Quintero leads the band on vocals and guitar on ‘El Floridita.’ It’s a song that really fires the band up and has especially good moments from Charlie Bisharat on electric violin and Nelson Rangell on flute. Phil Perry pours his talent into ‘Woman.’ Leader Don has his spots throughout the disc but really shines when he and brother Dave duet on pianos on ‘Road Town.’ Impressive, especially considering there was little or no rehearsal time for the musicians. Don even comments that he and his brother didn’t go over the arrangement much. All 17 or 18 musicians assemble on stage for the finale ‘She Feels Good.’ You’ll feel like whoever ‘she’ is when you watch the talent in action on The Hang DVD.

John Hilderbrand (Contemporary Jazz)