James Last Orchestra Biography (Wikipedia)
The James Last Orchestra was a German/multinational big-band orchestra. The orchestra was established in 1964 as a studio orchestra, led by jazz musician Hans Last. The orchestra started touring in 1968 and has been very popular worldwide. From 1965, Polydor Records named him 'James Last', as they thought the name 'James' would be more suitable for the international market.
Around 1970 the rhythm section was reorganized as a rock group (lead guitar: Helmuth Franke, rhythm guitar: Peter Hesslein, drums: Barry Roy Reeves, bass: Benny Bendorff, percussion: Christian Lembrecht and later Herbert Bornholdt). Bornholdt and Hesslein were members of the German progressive rock band Lucifer's Friend (another member, Peter Hecht, played with Last for a few years in the late 1970s), and Franke was a member of the pop-rock band Wonderland, whose recordings were produced by Last.
Last initially used many of the musicians who, like himself, were based in Hamburg and were regularly employed by the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR, or North German Radio) big band. Over time, many of the NDR musicians could not always get time off to tour with the Last band, so Last used this chance to make the orchestra more international. Some of the top musicians who have played in the James Last orchestra include Canadian violinist Trudean Conrad, Welsh drummer Terry Jenkins, Belgian trombonist Georges Delagaye, Swedish trumpeter Leif Uvemark and a number of American trumpeters including Bob Lanese, Rick Kiefer and brothers Chuck Findley and Bob Findley. Another trumpeter, Derek Watkins from England, recorded with The Beatles, playing on "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Revolution 1". Some musicians are family: father-and-son violinists Dmiter Pintev and Stefan Pintev, and husband and wife Bob Coassin (trumpet, USA) and Anne-Louise Comerford (viola, Australia). Bob Coassin is widely known in America. All in all, about 20 different countries are represented in the membership of the orchestra.(
James Last Orchestra Tracks