I've never heard of Dave Grusin or "Out of the Shadows", so I checked it out. Yes, that sounds fantastic. You have to look at the time period (1982). No computers and extraordinary musicians. I also think a lot of this is the actual room they were in too. It's like some of those old Motown records have a sound nobody can duplicate. I wonder if the Grusin guys were all playing together with mic bleed and all? It's a lot of the little things that all add up. It had to be quite the console too.Well, despite these tough audience posters I know exactly what you mean. It is voodoo in the sense that it is not intuitive. The better you get at it the more you will see it as art instead of science, just like voodoo.
I like to put on my Dave Grusin cd "Out of the Shadows" as what I consider one pinnacle of sound engineering. After all these years I still can't figure out how to make my stuff sound like that. It's just mind boggling to think I might have the tools for it at my thumb tips and I just haven't reasoned out the lucky recipe. But it still makes me better as I go.