Cellist from Los Angeles, California, who started out in small venues like Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium at Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, on 21stApril 1965, but soon was finding session work with the likes of David Axelrod, The Beach Boys and The Turtles. Other early live performances included a concert at the East County Performing Arts Center in El Cajon, California, as part of the Grossmont Community Concert Association’s 1969-1970 season, and a couple of stints at the University at Buffalo in New York in 1971.
In 1973, he performed on Willie Hutch’s soundtrack of The Mack. It would certainly not be his last turn in the movie studio. In 1976, he appeared on Donovan’s album, Slow Down World. He was in the recording studio with Letta Mbulu for much of 1977, laying down tracks for her self-titled album, Letta. In 1978, he appeared on Bautista’s The Heat of the Wind, the Johnny Mathis– Deniece Williams collaboration, That’s What Friends Are For, and Sergio Mendes’s Brasil ’88. He spent much of 1978 and 1979 in the studio with Lalo Schifrin , recording tracks for Stan Getz’s Children of the World and the soundtrack of The Amityville Horror. He also appeared on Frank Sinatra’s 1979 boxed set, Trilogy.
On the 3rd and 4th of April 1980, he was at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California, recording Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, with whom he performed as Principal Cellist. Around the same time, he was also working on Elmer Bernstein’s score of Stripes, the Bill Murray military comedy which hit theaters in 1981. In 1982, the LACO released Dvorak: Serenade Op. 22/Notturno Op. 40/Waldesruhe. They followed this up with The Water Music Complete in 1983, the same year that found Douglas playing cello on George Duke’s Guardian of the Light and Earth, Wind & Fire’s Powerlight. (It was the year of natural elements.) Other mid-’80s albums on which he performed include Julio Iglesias’s 1100 Bel Air Place, Melissa Manchester’s Mathematics, Christopher Parkening’s Simple Gifts, and Diane Schuur’s Timeless.
Douglas spent much of 1986 and 1987 performing live as a part of the South Bay Chamber Music Society, Inc.’s series of concerts, mainly with the Greenberg Ensemble, led by flautist Susan Greenberg. Their repertoire ranged from Baroque and Classical composers such as George Frideric Handel and Franz Joseph Haydn to 20th-century composers Jurriaan Andriessen and Peter Maxwell Davies. In 1987, along with fellow session ace Janet Lakatos, Douglas performed on the rather casually titled Handel, Brahms, Schubert and Others. It is no surprise, given his track record, that he also made the cut on Soundscapes Volume One: A Delos Digital Compact Disc Sampler, released in 1989.
In 1990, he re-united with guitarist Christopher Parkening on A Bach Celebration. Other ’90s albums he figured in were The Arnaeus Ensemble’s From the Rainbow, Harry Connick, Jr.’s To See You, Arni Eglisson’s Chamber Music, Lukas Foss’s Echoi, Fragments of Archilochos, and The NPG Orchestra’s Kamasutra, the brainchild of Prince.
The turn of the millennium found Douglas getting experimental with the popera album, Operatica: ” O”, Vol. 1. In 2003, he performed on Seatrain’s Watch and the soundtrack of Matrix Revolutions. He did similar duties on the 2006 movie, Inside Man. In addition to his myriad studio recordings and live performances,
Douglas managed to find time to sit in the Principal Cellist chair of the Pasadena Symphony, and has taught at UCLA and CSU-Northridge. He is married to fellow cellist, Rowena Hammill.
He retired from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2008.
Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams recordings
Emotion (Barry Gibb/Robin Gibb)
S CBS 6164B (UK 45)
He performs here with the Los Angeles String Quartet in a performance of “Italian Serenade” by Hugo Wolf….