Memories of Sticks and Stones.
Louie Bourland | Garden Grove CA | 09/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Sticks and Stones" is a very special album musically and personally. The year was 1988 and Dave Grusin's GRP label was off in full force producing one unique recording after another. One of the album's released during this peak period is this one.
Dave Grusin and brother Don produced and played everything on "Sticks and Stones" themselves and with the exception of the dual piano rendition Dori Caymmi's "Southern Wind", they wrote all the music as well.
The Grusin's employed what was then the very latest in keyboard technology on this album. Several of the sounds on the album, especially the rhythm tracks, don't sound synthetic at all. Listen for the snare drum marches on the closing Celtic-tinged track "North-Tribal Step Dance" or the bass-lines on "This Little Pig's Got The Blues" and you'd swear they were the real instruments instead of from synths or drum machines.
The music on "Sticks and Stones" is quite varied. Beside the two tracks mentioned above, Dave's TV/Film Theme style is heard in the opening track "Birds With Long Legs" as well as "River Song". "Pico Pica" and the title track both have a slight Brazilian Jazz feel to them while "Good Ol' Boys" has a humorous country quality to it. Dave and Don also team up for two acoustic piano duets - one of which is the above mentioned "Southern Wind" and the other being a bluesy gospel-tinged romp entitled "Dog Heaven".
With all this said, Dave and Don Grusin's "Sticks and Stones" is a highly entertaining album which brings back some great memories for this reviewer. The CD is unfortunately out-of-print and has been for many years. However, it is still highly possible to find it used at a decent price.
If you're looking for some pleasant yet eclectic instrumental music with a good relaxing feel, look no further that this album. It's a great CD and it sounds like the Grusin brothers just had a plain ball making it together."