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R.I.P. pianist Mike Lang


Jay
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His credits are an endless list. He performed on literally thousands of recordings.

 

His most famous solo for JW is “Banning Back Home” from Hook, but he has some really nice spotlight in Close Encounters, Sabrina and Catch Me If You Can. 
 

For Goldsmith, he did many many solos. My most favourite ones are The Russia House and The Edge.

 

Btw, here’s a beautifully written obit by Jon Burlingame:

 

https://variety.com/2022/artisans/news/mike-lang-dead-jazz-pianist-1235335081/

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RIP. His name for me was really synonymous with everything that came out of Hollywood studios from the 70's onwards.

 

Almost 700 credits here, and this is probably not complete:

https://www.discogs.com/artist/305375-Mike-Lang?sort=year%2Casc&limit=500&type=Credits&filter_anv=0&page=1

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I have loved Banning Back Home since first hearing it in 1991 and was just listening to it the other day for the nth time. I’m now going to have to listen to it for the (n+1)th time.

 

I’d appreciate some clarification on Sabrina - I thought JW himself played piano on at least some tracks - is there a list of which Mike did?

 

Mark

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Did he do the piano in the Time Out segment of Twilight Zone the Movie?

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3 minutes ago, Andy said:

Did he do the piano in the Time Out segment of Twilight Zone the Movie?


Yes, that was four pianos (plus synth) played by Mike Lang, Ralph Grierson, James Newton Howard and Ian Fraser.

1 hour ago, QuartalHarmony said:

I’d appreciate some clarification on Sabrina - I thought JW himself played piano on at least some tracks - is there a list of which Mike did?

 

Mark


I believe that the opening solo as heard on the album is indeed JW, but the rest was Mike Lang and Chet Swiatkowski. Sometimes is very difficult to know who exactly is playing as the musicians’ memory is often foggy and often the same cue is done by a different musician at every take. As Randy Kerber told in the podcast interview for LOJW, Williams likes to have different pianists do a take on the same piece, so it’s more than one keyboardist.

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40 minutes ago, TownerFan said:


Yes, that was four pianos (plus synth) played by Mike Lang, Ralph Grierson, James Newton Howard and Ian Fraser.

 

 

That's incredible.  It's a tour de force.

 

 

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