WOODWIND PLAYER JIM HORN IS ONE of the world's greatest session musicians. Few, if any, living musicians can boast such stellar credits: Elvis and Elton. Sinatra and Sting. Waylon and Wynona. The Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, and all four members of the Beatles.
It's not hard to hear why. Both the original demos and the Sims-polished studio tracks (posted at www.pullstartrockets.com and on the band's MySpace and Facebook pages) reveal the group's knack for bright, bouncy, hook-laden guitar pop.
SOMETIMES ALLEN MORGAN PRODUCES RECORDS. Sometimes he engineers them. And sometimes he creates remixes, like the one he recently made of the Commodores "Brick House." It was so good that the band invited Allen to close out all the shows on their recent UK tour with his updated take on the '70s soul classic.
MUSIC PRODUCER, SONGWRITER, MUSICAL DIRECTOR, engineer, arranger, dealmaker: If it's part of the music business, Walter Millsap III has done it. As a protégé of producer Timbaland, he engineered on The Diary of Alicia Keys, co-wrote songs for artists such as Brandy and Jennifer Lopez, and co-produced tracks for Missy Elliott. He's also developed and written material for a series of new acts--and most recently, he's taken on the role of Musical Director for pop's new It Girl, Lady Gaga.
"I'VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED WITH EVERY ASPECT of what you can do on the drum set," says New York-based drummer Allison Miller. Given her resume, that open-ended attitude is hardly a surprise.
NOT MANY BANDS CAN DELIVER CONFESSIONAL, spiritual songs that still make enough noise to fill an arena. But since the Fray's double-platinum 2005 debut, How to Save a Life, which triggered four Top 40 hits and was the best-selling digital album of all time, the Denver-based group's confident and emotional alternative-pop sound has resonated nonstop through radios, MP3 players, theaters, and stadiums from Boston to Berlin.
IF HISTORY HAD GONE A BIT DIFFERENTLY, WE MIGHT have had one more rodeo champ, but one less groundbreaking musician.
Diane Birch doesn't complain when listeners hear echoes of the great 1970s singer/songwriters on her debut album, Bible Belt. "I love being compared to that stuff, because it's some of the best music out there," she says. "I consider myself lucky if my music reminds people of that era."
PEDJA MUZIJEVIC IS ONE OF TODAY'S most adventurous classical performers. The Sarajevo-born, New York City-based pianist has won praise and prizes for his solo recitals, orchestral and chamber performances, and collaborations with such leading dance troupes as Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project and the Trisha Brown Dance Company.
MIKE STERN IS ONE OF THE MOST important figures in modern jazz guitar. After erupting onto the scene as the fiery young soloist in several of Miles Davis's 1980s bands, he issued a string of thrilling solo albums, culminating in the recent GRAMMY®-nominated Big Neighborhood. Over the years Stern has perfected a distinctive solo style that melds fluid bebop lines with funky inflections steeped in blues and rock. Stern recently spoke to us from his home in New York City, where he was enjoying a brief stopover between a European tour and a series of Japanese concerts.