fbpx


The golden age of the session player is long over, but musicians still make a living at it. With apologies to everyone who should be mentioned here and isn’t, a sampling of players who might lately be found at work in the recording studios of Hollywood, along with a smattering of their clients.


 


GUITARISTS


Rusty Anderson — Paul McCartney, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky
Martin, Jewel, Lisa Loeb


David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos; also accordion, violin) — Suzanne
Vega, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones, the Long Ryders, Crowded
House, Elvis Costello


Smokey Hormel — Beck, John Doe, Beth Orton, Johnny Cash,
Sam Phillips, Tom Waits


Paul Jackson Jr. Peabo Bryson, Celine Dion, Herbie
Hancock, Julio Iglesias, Michael Jackson, Jewel, Madonna, Luis
Miguel, Steely Dan, Luther Vandross


Michael Landau — Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Alanis
Morissette, Mariah Carey, Cher, Miles Davis, Celine Dion, Julio
and Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Joni Mitchell,
James Taylor


Wendy Melvoin — Prince, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Marie Presley,
Joni Mitchell, Neil Finn


Greg Leisz — Dave Alvin, k.d. lang, Beck, Smashing Pumpkins


 



KEYBOARD PLAYERS


Jon Brion — Grant Lee Buffalo, Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann,
Robyn Hitchcock, Mary Lou Lord, Elliott Smith


Lisa Coleman — Joni Mitchell, Neil Finn, k.d. lang


Skip Edwards
— Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Dwight
Yoakam, Rosie Flores, Meat Puppets


Rami Jaffee (of the Wallflowers) — Macy Gray, Grant Lee
Buffalo, Minibar, Everclear


Jim Lang Smokey Robinson, Stan Ridgway, Kenny Rogers,
Cher, the Eels


Greg Phillinganes —Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera,
Michael Jackson, Anita Baker


Mark Ramos-Nishita (a.k.a. Money Mark) — Beastie Boys,
Los Lobos, Mary Lou Lord, Handsome Boy Modeling School


Benmont Tench (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) — Ryan
Adams, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Bob
Dylan, Green Day, Rolling Stones, Rufus Wainwright, Lucinda Williams


Patrick Warren
— Michelle Branch, Fiona Apple, Vic Chestnutt,
Macy Gray, Shelby Lynne, Natalie Merchant, Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Something Corporate, X


 



BASSISTS


Nathan East
*NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige,
TLC, Ruben Studdard


Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) —Johnny Cash, Alanis Morissette,
Mick Jagger, Warren Zevon


Randy Jackson — Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Bob Dylan, Aretha
Franklin, Celine Dion


Justin Meldal-Johnsen — Air, Tori Amos, Beck, Macy Gray, Pete Yorn


 



STRING PLAYERS


Petra Haden (
violin) — Victoria Williams, Everclear, Princess Superstar,
Green Day, Beck


Lil Haydn (violin) — Christina Aguilera, Peter Case, Porno for Pyros,
Josh Groban, Macy Gray


Larry Corbett (cello ) — Beck, Michael Bolton, David Byrne, Mariah
Carey, Cracker, Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach, Michael Jackson,
Madonna, Aimee Mann


 


DRUMMERS and PERCUSSIONISTS


Vinnie Colaiuta
Frank Zappa, Christina Aguilera, Leonard Cohen,
Billy Joel, John Wesley Harding, Joni Mitchell, Sting


Steve Ferrone — Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Chris Isaak, Chaka Khan,
Teena Marie, Bryan Ferry


Danny Frankel — Shivaree, Mike Watt, The Rentals, Eleni Mandell,
Peter Himmelman


Josh Freese (of A Perfect Circle) — Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne,
Shawn Mullins, 3 Doors Down, Paul Westerberg, Rob Zombie


Stephen Hodges
— Afghan Whigs, Mike Watt, Tom Waits, Sam Phillips,
Dave Alvin, Wanda Jackson


Abe Laboriel Jr. (also bass) — Paul McCartney, Shakira, Jewel,
Liz Phair, Lisa Marie Presley


Joey Waronker — R.E.M., Badly Drawn Boy, Richard Thompson,
Johnny Lang, Beck