when it was first brought to him, Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer-arranger-producer-pianist Dave Grusin didn’t think much of the idea of doing a documentary film on his weighty career. “It wasn’t a big thing on my radar,” the eighty-four-year-old Grusin said. “I just didn’t think people would be interested enough to go see it.” The film’s director, Barbara Bentree, thought differently. “He didn’t think anyone would be interested — ha!” the Santa Fe-based musician and filmmaker said. Bentree and her husband, jazz pianist John Rangel, first suggested the idea to Grusin in 2015 on a visit to Grusin’s home in McLeod, Montana (he also has a home in Santa Fe). “It took us four months of meetings to convince him that we could do it and that it should be done,” Bentree continued, adding that Grusin’s wife Nan Newton coming on as co-producer also played a major role. The thing that finally convinced him, Grusin explained, was his affinity for Bentree and Rangel. “They’re great folks, great musicians. They live in Santa Fe and are a big part of the community there. How could I say no to these people?”…
Grusin has received eight Oscar nominations for such scores as “Tootsie,” “On Golden Pond,” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “Three Days of the Condor”; he won for 1988’s “Milagro Beanfield War.” He has 10 Grammys and another 28 nominations, and is widely considered among the most influential composers and arrangers in American music.
Santa Fe, N.M., filmmakers Barbara Bentree and John Rangel are making the movie under their Jindojazz Inc. banner with the full cooperation of Grusin and his family. The film is expected to be unveiled later this year.
The movie will chronicle his career, from humble beginnings in Littleton, Colo., through his time as Andy Williams’ music director, scoring TV and movies starting in the 1960s, the creation of his jazz label GRP Records in the 1970s, and his trailblazing, early embrace of the digital medium.