Legendary French Horn player talks his distinguished career as studio musician in Hollywood and his many collaborations with John Williams as Principal Horn since 1989, including such film scores as Always, JFK, Jurassic Park, Sleepers, and The Patriot

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

Among the many studio musicians who performed in John Williams’s scores, French Horn legend James Thatcher certainly occupies a very special place. The esteemed hornist has performed in many scores composed by the Maestro and has been his first-choice principal horn from 1989 until 2013. James Thatcher performed in many scores by John Williams, including such popular films as Jurassic Park and Home Alone, but also as featured soloist in Always, JFK, Sleepers, Amistad, Rosewood and The Patriot.

James Thatcher is one of the most prolific and revered studio musicians who ever worked for the film recording industry, but also an accomplished and respected classical player, certainly one of the world’s premier French horn players. He had the distinguished honour to have been one of the longest first-chair musicians serving for John Williams and performed in virtually all of his scores recorded in L.A. until 2013.

Jim has also been James Horner's first-choice principal horn for thirty years, playing in such film scores as Field of Dreams, Glory, The Rocketeer, Titanic, Deep Impact and many others.

Jim Thatcher has also worked with an extraordinary list of composers that include Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Alan Menken, Randy Newman, John Barry, Maurice Jarre and Alan Silvestri. Jim’s performances can be heard on such films as Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, The Fugitive, Pretty Woman, Back to the Future, Frozen, Total Recall, Glory, Independence Day, Monsters, Inc., Beauty and the Beast, Ice Age, The Polar Express, Toy Story, Cars, Forrest Gump, Night at the Museum, King Kong, and the list goes on and on. He has the impressive record of performing in more than 3,500 film and television scores during his career. In addition to film and television scores, Jim played in many studio recordings and his solo horn work also includes Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Dave Grusin, Harry Connick Jr. and Mel Torme.

In this long, engaging conversation, Jim talks about his life and career as studio musician in Hollywood, his friendship with the great Vince DeRosa, and his many projects with John Williams, including his solo work in films like Always, JFK, Jurassic Park and The Patriot. Jim talks extensively about the challenges and the thrills of being the principal horn for John Williams for many years, but also offers his insightful thoughts about the music itself, the history of the instrument in film, offering memories from his collaborations with James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith. He also talks about his work as a classical musician and his life as a teacher.

 

Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/10/23/james-thatcher-podcast for more information and to listen to a special tribute montage dedicated to Jim Thatcher

The legendary trumpeteer talks his unparalleled career as studio musician in Hollywood and his journey with composer John Williams as principal trumpet on 40+ films between 1973 and 2011, including some of the Maestro’s most beloved scores such as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Jurassic Park and the Indiana Jones films

Among the musicians who performed for John Williams in Los Angeles, trumpet legend Malcolm McNab has certainly a place of honour. This incredibly talented musician started to perform for the composer in 1973, playing lovely lyrical solos in the score for the film The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (directed by Richard C. Sarafian, starring Burt Reynolds and Sarah Miles). His exquisite playing immediately became a benchmark and, from that moment onward, McNab became principal trumpet for virtually all John Williams’s recordings in Los Angeles from 1973 until 2011, becoming one of the longest-serving members (if not the single longest) in his pick-up orchestra: a grand total of 46 film scores, including some of the Maestro’s most iconic works like Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, The Witches of Eastwick, Home Alone, Hook, Far and Away, Minority Report, plus several television projects (including Amazing Stories, Great Performances and the theme for the NBC Nightly News programs) and other special projects such as the live-to-picture performance of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the film’s 20th anniversary in March 2002. He also had lovely lyrical solos in Stanley & Iris (1990).

Malcolm McNab’s career highlights don’t stop however just at his many successful collaborations with John Williams. The trumpeteer has also been the first-call principal trumpet for many other great Hollywood composers including Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North, James Horner, Randy Newman, James Newton Howard, Bruce Broughton, Michael Kamen, with many of them writing beautiful solo parts especially for him. McNab’s truly impressive list of credits includes many of Hollywood’s most famous movies of the last 45 years. His playing can be heard in hundreds of memorable soundtracks, including the Rocky series, several Star Trek movies, Pretty Woman, The Karate Kid, Spider-Man 1 and 2, The Sixth Sense, Silverado, Edward Scissorhands, Independence Day, the Lethal Weapon films, Pirates of the Caribbean, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Pixar’s Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, Cars and Monsters, Inc., and many, many others. He can be heard as featured soloist in John Barry’s Dances With Wolves, Randy Newman’s Avalon, Jerry Goldsmith’s L.A. Confidential and The Last Castle, James Horner’s Glory, just to name a few.

In this rich, in-depth conversation, Malcolm talks about his career as studio musician legend, performing for virtually every great composer in Hollywood and performing both exquisite solos and virtuosic trumpet parts in many film scores. He talks at length about his many years performing for John Williams, from the first gig in 1973 to the success of scores like Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park, reflecting on the evolution of the trumpet section in Williams’s scores and the challenges of performing very difficult parts on many occasions, but also the fun and the joy of recording source music for Jaws and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. McNab also recollects his experiences with rock legend Frank Zappa, his friendship with Uan Rasey and his many collaborations with Jerry Goldsmith.

For more information visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/09/23/malcolm-mcnab-podcast

Legendary pianist and keyboardist recollects his impressive career as a studio musician performing in thousands of Hollywood film scores and his many collaborations with John Williams from 1969 until 2001, including his unforgettable playing on Jaws and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Very few musicians can compare to the versatile and incredibly prolific career of Ralph Grierson. A legend among studio musicians, Grierson has graced a great number of performances and recordings (including thousands of film soundtracks) thanks to his talent on a wide variety of keyboard instruments, from traditional piano and harpsichord to the most advanced synthesizers, playing across genres and styles including classical music, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, contemporary and avant-garde.

Born near Vancouver, Canada, Grierson began studying music since a very young age. In 1968 he settled in Los Angeles, establishing parallel careers as a studio musician for TV and film (playing all the electronic keyboard instruments and also piano, organ, and harpsichord) and as an interpreter of contemporary music. With Michael Tilson Thomas he made the first recording of Stravinsky's own four-hand piano reduction of The Rite of Spring

Grierson also appeared on a handful of Grammy-nominated albums: Palm Leaf Rag, and the follow-up album, Magnetic Rag, both with the Southland Stingers (a group formed by some of the finest Hollywood studio musicians conducted by) and both containing music by Scott Joplin; and ‘S Wonderful, a collection of George Gershwin’s tunes for piano duet performed together with Artie Kane (a legendary studio musician himself who often performed for John Williams).

He first worked with John Williams on The Reivers (1969), a score that would then became the Maestro’s first Academy Award nomination as Best Original Score—and the work that would pick the attention of a then-very young up-and-coming director named Steven Spielberg. From that moment, Grierson worked on almost every John Williams score recorded in Los Angeles until 2001, a total number of 46 scores. He can be heard playing in iconic scores such as Jaws and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial—he’s the pianist on the unforgettable piano solo heard in the film’s end credits.

rierson performed piano, synthesizer and keyboards in many other classic scores by the Maestro including The Cowboys, The Towering Inferno, Family Plot, 1941, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Witches of Eastwick, The Accidental Tourist, Always, Stanley and Iris, Home Alone, just to name a few (often performing in a keyboard section that included other legendary talents such as Artie Kane, Mike Lang, Clare Fischer, Chet Swiatkowski and Ian Underwood).

Over the course of his 30+ years career as studio musician, Grierson performed on literally thousands of film and television scores, playing for every top Hollywood film composers and includes some of cinema’s biggest hits such as E.T., Titanic, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, The Matrix. Ralph also appeared as the piano soloist (both on screen and on the soundtrack recording) in the segment of "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin in Disney’s Fantasia 2000

n this wide-ranging, in-depth candid conversation, Ralph talks about his incredible life and career as studio musician in Hollywood and his collaborations with John Williams on many film scores as pianist and keyboardist, recalling his work on Jaws and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Ralph also recalls some of his other career’s highlights, including his work with the late James Horner and his soloist work for Disney’s Fantasia 2000. He also opens up about the career-altering injury he faced in 2002 and how his life changed since then. 

For more information and the list of musical excerpts featured in the episode visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/08/26/ralph-grierson-podcast/

Legendary flutist discusses his life as a studio musician recording hundreds of film and television scores over 30+ years, including his many collaborations with John Williams in scores such as The River, Jurassic Park and Memoirs of a Geisha

Jim Walker is one of the most talented and celebrated flutist of our times. From classical to jazz to television and film to the concert hall, Walker has brilliantly showcased his incredible musicianship for 50+ years.

In his incredibly prolific career as a studio musician, Jim Walker has performed in hundreds of film and television scores. His first major prominent part was assigned to him by John Williams in 1984—the composer picked Walker as soloist for the Academy Award-nominated score of The River, directed by Mark Rydell and starring Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek. Since then, he's been part of the flute section in virtually all of John Williams’s recordings in Los Angeles until 2008, including some of Williams’s biggest hits such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Home Alone, Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List. Walker can also also be heard as soloist/1st flute in scores such as Amistad, The Patriot, Catch Me If You Can and Memoirs of a Geisha.

His versatility and incredible dexterity was appreciated by some of Hollywood’s top film composers including Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Elmer Bernstein, Randy Newman, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, and his playing can be heard in box office hits such as Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Titanic, Finding Nemo, but also beloved classics like Awakenings, Edward Scissorhands, Cocoon.

In this in-depth conversation, Jim talks about his musical life, from his upbringing in Kentucky to his arrival in Los Angeles as the Principal Flute of the LA Phil and his work as a studio musician for films and television scores. He talks extensively about his many collaborations with John Williams, including his soloist work on The River and Memoirs of a Geisha, but also the very challenging parts he had to perform in scores such as Hook and Jurassic Park, offering his own detailed look on Williams’s music as seen from the performer’s unique point of view.

For more information and the full list of musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/08/07/jim-walker-podcast

The esteemed British conductor talks on his work as a specialist of Live to Picture concerts and his love and admiration for the music of John Williams

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Ben Palmer is one of Europe’s foremost specialists in conducting live to film. He conducted many of the most successful film concerts in the UK and across mainland Europe, appearing in prestige venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London. Palmer conducted virtually all of the John Williams films available in this format, such as the Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic ParkE.T. the Extra-TerrestrialJawsHome AloneRaiders of the Lost ArkHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Palmer became also a profound connoisseur and student of John Williams's music, developing an intimate and profound knowledge of the composer’s style and language. I

n this long and engaging conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Ben Palmer talks in-depth about the details, the intricacies and the challenges of conducting live to picture performances of John Williams’s film scores, while also offering his own insightful thoughts about Williams’s place in music history, sharing his deep love and admiration for the music of the Maestro.

For more information and the list of all musical excerpts, go to thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

Special episode dedicated to John Williams's iconic scores for the Star Wars film series, including a focus on the last work for the Saga, The Rise of Skywalker

Special guests: Doug Adams, Frank Lehman, Jim Ware

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

The music composed by John Williams for the Star Wars saga is universally acknowledged among the greatest ever written for film.

In this episode of The Legacy of John Williams podcast, editor Maurizio Caschetto is joined by author Doug Adams (writer of the best-selling book The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films), film musicologist and theorist Frank Lehman (author of the Complete Catalogue of the Musical Themes of Star Wars) and film music expert Jim Ware for an in-depth roundtable-like discussion about the legacy of the iconic music by Maestro Williams for the Star Wars saga.

Starting with commentary on the score for The Rise of Skywalker, the group goes deep into analyzing the new musical material, how it sits in the overall musical lexicon of the series and how John Williams's style evolved throughout his 40+ years musical journey.

Interview with soundtrack producer Mike Matessino on his restoration work for two lesser-known scores from John Williams’ filmography

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

In this new episode, soundtrack producer Mike Matessino talks in-depth about his work on the expanded soundtrack releases of John Williams's scores for Far and Away and The River, released respectively on La-La Land Records and Intrada.

Matessino joins The Legacy of John Williams editor Maurizio Caschetto and co-host Tim Burden to offer background information about the remastering and production process of each release. Matessino comments on John Williams’s creative journey for these films in a long and engaging conversation, where several topics beyond the two releases are also discussed.

Discover more at thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

An exclusive interview with soundtrack producer Mike Matessino on his restoration work for the Disaster Movie Soundtrack Collection – Music by John Williams, and the remastered expansions of Monsignor and Minority Report

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

The DISASTER MOVIE SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION – MUSIC BY JOHN WILLIAMS, is a thrilling, limited edition four disc box set from La-La Land Records containing the remastered and expanded original scores to three classics of the so-called "disaster movie" genre from the 1970s: The Poseidon Adventure (1972), and The Towering Inferno (1974), both from legendary producer Irwin Allen, and Earthquake (1974), produced and directed by Mark Robson, all composed and conducted by John Williams and restored by soundtrack producer Mike Matessino.

In this conversation, Mike talks about his work on this new box set and the remastered editions of Monsignor and Minority Report released in 2019.

Discover more at thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

The esteemed American conductor talks about the history and the aesthetic of music written in Hollywood during the Golden Age era and how it led to the rise of John Williams.

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

There are very few musicians in the world who can easily compare to Maestro John Mauceri. Conductor, educator, writer and lecturer, Mauceri conducted the world's greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also worked on the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood...

For more information and details on the music excerpts featured in the episode go to thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

American composer and conductor David Newman talks about the music of John Williams and its ties to the rich musical legacy of his father Alfred Newman

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

There are very few musicians working in contemporary Hollywood that could rival the same amount of experience, knowledge and family heritage of distinguished composer and conductor David Newman.

In this wide-ranging conversation, David talks about the music of John Williams and its legacy, going in-depth about many aspects of Williams’ approach to the artform of film music, while also paying tribute to the heritage of his father Alfred Newman and the music-making at 20th Century Fox from the 1930s to the late 1950s and how it ties to John Williams’ legacy.

Discover more at https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2019/05/31/david-newman-podcast/

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