A wise producer introduced me to Jim and suggested we work together on the “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” series. I was committed to another series and so was Jim so the collaboration made a lot of sense in terms of work load. What we discovered was a really seamless mesh of our individual strengths. Jim is an adept classical composer, conductor and orchestrator. My compositions were enhanced to the perfect degree by Jim’s touches and it really became a complete back and forth of ideas. We’ve since worked together on two albums and I go to the “Jim well” as often as I can.
When I started on my first feature film I was doing it without computers and midi. This was really good for me as creative decisions were made up front. I was working with real musicians in real time from the ground up and the band afforded me this luxury. Both Doug Elliott and Pat Steward are multi-instrumentalists with jazz training. Murray Atkinson is a conservatory trained pianist who is a whiz bang on all the other rock combo instruments. All three have become seasoned session cats with a ream of credits.
Although my methods have moved with modern technology and I fly solo for the most part, this core of sympathetic, tasteful and skilled musicians allows me to take it “old school” and achieve richer results.
Brent and I are old friends through our national sport — we’ve played hockey together for 17 years or so. Both of us were born out of rock n’ roll and gravitated toward film and TV. I was swamped last year and a cool project crossed my bow. I’d never done an animated show or anything for kids and Teletoons “Geofreakz” series was offered to me. I suggested Brent and I could collaborate. We had a great time finally making music together. Brent has a lot of “chops” and we finish each other’s musical sentences when it comes to what is appropriate for a scene.
Well…sometimes you just have to keep it in the family. My sister just happens to have grown up in the same crazy musical household. She’s a true artist and a “mofo” cellist. We live in different cities but the internet is a powerful tool and she can summon a miriad of resources in Calgary. She should have a yellow pages listing under “Strings ‘r Us” but it doesn’t matter. I have the direct line. She’s lightning fast at getting it right and people know her by her laugh.
Terry and I met when both playing in the Colin James Band. He’d arrived in Vancouver from Nashville after he and his Vancouver raised wife decided it was time to pay attention to that side of the family. Colin snapped him up right away knowing full well his trumpet pedigree with Delbert McClinton, Shelby Lynne and a who’s who of R&B superstars. Along with saxophonist/flautist Steve Hilliam, I now had my “go to guys” whenever horns were in the mix — Terry also covers trombone. Terry’s arranging is sparkling and flexible and Steve, Terry and I work well together on the fly. I’ve also employed him to do string arrangements when I want that surprising horn “hookiness”.
Steve and I started playing together 12 years ago when I did my first gig with Colin James. He has been Colin’s musical director for a long time and positively shreds whenever he is thrown a solo. Pretty good hockey player too. Steve is a sax chameleon who’s true colours lie in the Brecker Brothers palette. That said you can get him to cover any bag. When we’re working fast he already knows how to, in his words, “make it more Craiglike”.