John Altman

Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Songwriter, Arranger

John Altman, the world-renowned composer, grew up in a musically rich family and found his own passion for music at an very young age. His uncles (Woolf and Sid Phillips) were successful arrangers, bandleaders and conductors and his cousin Simon Phillips is best known as the drummer for Toto. John played saxophone in several bands growing up with the likes of Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix and Hot Chocolate for whom he served as the groups musical director. Playing as a Studio Musician for several years led to arranging and composing projects including movies such as James Cameron’s Titanic, Goldeneye and Little Voice (among many others). It was once estimated that John worked on over 4,000 television jingles over his career. Fans of Monty Python’s Life of Brian can thank John for the arrangement of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!” John has also been a member and strong advocate of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC) whose board members made possible his NAMM Oral History interview in 2021.