Keyboardist Dave Grusin has created the music for many movies, and he revisits some of his film music on Now Playing (GRP). For the most part, this necessitated some rearranging, since most of the pieces were orchestral, and the result is a series of simple, beautiful melodies and sensitive, nuanced performances. But Now Playing is a delightful offering that feels fresh, not nostalgic.
The main theme from On Golden Pond is a lovely, quasiclassical composition, while the "New Hampshire Hornpipe" from the same film is a lively dance articulated by Grusin's very nimble fingers. Grusin's charming, slightly introspective, reading of the pop hit "It Might Be You" from Tootsie reminds us how lovely the song's melody is, and things turn lighthearted on the theme from Heaven Can Wait. The music for The Firm was composed for solo piano in the first place, and on that film's percussive "Mud Island Chase" Grusin smacks the piano's interior and exterior and strikes and strums the strings to convey a sense of urgency.