Mark Isham (born September 7, 1951) is an American trumpeter, synthesist, and composer. He works in a variety of genres, including jazz, electronic, and film. Isham was born in New York City. He studied classical music at an early age and played trumpet, piano and violin. The Isham family later moved to San Francisco, where Mark found work in several of the local orchestras. He also became actively involved in the Bay Area rock and roll scene of the 1960s, performing live with several of the local groups.
Isham was born in New York City. He studied classical music at an early age and played trumpet, piano and violin. The Isham family later moved to San Francisco, where Mark found work in several of the local orchestras. He also became actively involved in the Bay Area rock and roll scene of the 1960s, performing live with several of the local groups.
One of his early recordings "Group 87" was released as a demo LP to college radio stations. Few commercially available pressings of this first release are available > though several custom CD burns (CBS/Sony denies existence, but providing the label & issue number through their custom burn service known as [SONY MUSIC SPECIAL PRODUCTS] can be had)!> I believe this is "THE DEFINITIVE ISHAM" against all others will be judged! One other Group 87 album followed titled "A Career in Dada Processing", a reflection attesting to the learning curve associated with the emerging CD Format. It was released with very limited availability. Both albums in the "Group 87" moniker are a bit mechanical, utilizing heavy sampling, forceful sequencing, strong percussion and a progressive edginess as compared to the later Isham releases. Mark Isham next released his self-titled "Vapor Drawings", softening the stylings of the group, but with a emphasis on his trumpeting skills, that as they matured developed into the sound that would be identified as his own unique sound. He has a MYSPACE page currently, where all available recordings can be ordered.
His albums Castalia (1988) and Tibet (1989) were both Grammy-nominated. He won in 1990 with his album Mark Isham.
In 1992 he published his first orchestral work Five Stories for Trumpet and Orchestra. The same year he earned an Academy Award nomination for the soundtrack of the film A River Runs Through It. During the following years he became a prolific film score composer. Some of his film scores include: Save the Last Dance, Men of Honor, October Sky, and the critically acclaimed Crash which won well over 30 awards worldwide, including the Oscar for Best Achievement in Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Writing/Original Screenplay, and many soundtrack awards.
In 1995 he released an album titled Blue Sun. This was his first album to follow a mainstream contemporary jazz format.
In 1999 he formed a group to interpret the music of Miles Davis's late 1960s through mid-1970s electric jazz fusion and released an album, Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project, which was recorded live.