Cellists Who Worked in the NYC Studios

Cellists who worked in the NYC studios – (just a few)
A lot of people don’t realize who some of the great players who played on historic recordings have been over the years. Bernard Greenhouse, Frank Miller, David Soyer, Charles McCracken (principal of the Met after Starker), Harvey Shapiro, Allan Schulman, and George Ricci (Ruggiero’s amazingly talented brother- he could play any of the major violin concerti in the original octave on the cello!) all earned their living for a time in the recording studios of NYC.


Charlie Parker with Strings (Studio recordings of Nov. 30, 1949

Charlie Parker-alto saxophone; Mitch Miller-oboe; Bronislaw Gimpel, Max Hollander, Milton Lomask -violins; Frank Brieff -viola; Frank Miller -cello; Myor Rosen -harp; Stan Freeman-piano; Ray Brown-double bass; Buddy Rich-drums; Jimmy Carroll -arranger and conductor

Charlie Parker with Strings (Studio recordings of July 1950)
Charlie Parker – alto saxophone; Joseph Singer -french horn; Eddie Brown – oboe; Sam Caplan, Howard Kay, Harry Melnikoff, Sam Rand, Zelly Smirnoff – violins; Isadore Zir – viola; Maurice Brown – cello; Verley Mills – harp; Bernie Leighton- piano; Brown – double bass; Rich – drums; Joe Lipman – arranger and conductor

Coleman Hawkins (with Bernard Greenhouse, George Ricci, Alan Schulman, and Edgardo Sodero)

Sarah Vaughan and Bernard Greenhouse

Edgar Lustgarten and John Williams (yes, THAT John Williams) Prokofiev Sonata

Eric Byers ‘Agents of Shield’ cello soloist

Great quote, “It doesn’t look easy”

It isn’t; just think about it, you have to sightread something that is supposed to sound like a legit concertante-type piece, syncing to a pre-recorded soundtrack and with the actor on screen (who is not playing the music you have to perform). That’s a lot to do! When I was at Yale, I had to improvise some quarter-tone music to an actor on screen playing an instrument that was someone’s idea of what the quarter-tone stringed instrument that Charles Ive’s father invented would look like. It was recorded in an early sound-era tv/film media studio in NYC with a dedicated screen built at an angle above where the orchestra would normally be in the room. That was a lot easier because of what was required of me, I didn’t have to look at music, wear headphones, or play to a track, I just had to make sounds that resembled the actor’s gestures; this fellow had a challenging task; well done.

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