Toto's David Paich To Conduct Orchestra At Emmys
Some 35 years later, he'll return to the stage as the conductor and bandleader for the awards show's 61st Primetime Emmys, airing on CBS in prime-time Sept. 20. Having previously worked with executive producer Don Mischer as musical director on the CBS Movies Rock special, Paich will be conducting a group featuring such world-class musicians as his co-musical director Steve Jordan (John Mayer), Ray Parker (of Ghostbusters fame), Daryl Jones (Rolling Stones bassist) and veteran sax player Tom Scott, among others.
"I call it the best garage band in the world," laughs Paich of the ensemble, which will include three guitars, bass, drums, a pair of keyboards and small string and horn sections. "It's leaner and meaner, but we should rock pretty good. It's almost like a big soul group with strings."
Paich first met Jordan when Steve recruited him to be co-director of the orchestra for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, which David describes as "Obama's coming-out party." The Emmy band, which marks a return for Paich to the world of TV after playing in a group in for film projects, had to learn literally hundreds of cues for play-ons and play-offs throughout the night.
"It was very challenging and fulfilling," says Paich of the experience. "You have to come up with a lot of material very quickly, but it's fun, because you get to work with the best players in the world. It's always different, so it never gets boring."
The band, including Paich on keyboards, also served as Rod Stewart's back-up for his upcoming album of soul classics, produced by Jordan.
"These guys can play anything," he says. "Everybody's up for it. We're having a lot of fun."
Paich and Toto bandmate Steve Lukather also had a creative reunion with jazz great George Benson for his just-released album, Songs and Stories, for Monster Music/ Concord Music Group, co-writing and co-producing the original track, "Show Me the Love," with standout bassist (and album producer) Marcus Miller. The album recently debuted at #1 on the Billboard jazz chart, Top 15 at R&B and Top 100 Pop, featuring songs by Lamont Dozier, Smokey Robinson, Rod Temperton, Christopher Cross and Donny Hathaway, among others. Paich previously co-wrote and co-produced "Lady Love Me" for Benson with James Newton Howard, while Lukather co-wrote Benson's 1983 hit, "Turn Your Love Around."
Finally, Toto will be inducted by the members of Rascal Flatts into the Musicians' Hall of Fame in Nashville on Oct. 12 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center along with such legends as Chet Atkins, Dick Dale, Billy Cox and Charlie Daniels. The group will then join Rascal Flatts for a live performance of a three-song medley of Toto hits.
"The musical climate is changing in Nashville," says Paich, who wrote his first hit, "Houston," for Glen Campbell when he was barely out of high school. "Now, it's more like what L.A. was in the "70s and '80s. We're being honored as musicians, so I'm getting my black 10-gallon hat ready for the occasion."
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