It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs
of the 20th century and make them completely their own. And that's precisely
what James Taylor has accomplished with his brand-new album, “American
Standard”. Recalling the best
of James' early work, he infuses new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art. While these 14 carefully chosen interpretations naturally feature James' warm, one-of-a-kind vocal ability and incomparable musicianship, what makes this collection so unique is the inventive way James and his fellow co-producers, longtime collaborator Dave O'Donnell and famed musician John Pizzarelli, approached the project. Unlike most who have tackled similar material, “American Standard's” beautifully simple, stripped-down arrangements are based on James' skillful acoustic guitar work rather than piano and the affect is mesmerizing.
“American Standard” is the follow-up to James' first-ever #1 album,
2015's “Before This World”. It was primarily recorded at his home studio,
The Barn in Washington, MA., with additional work done at United Recording and
Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Treasure Isle and Blackbird Studios in
Nashville. An all-star array of Taylor's musical comrades makes significant
contributions here including drummer, Steve Gadd; percussionist, Luis Conte;
electric bassist, Jimmy Johnson; upright bassist, Viktor Krauss; keyboardist,
Larry Goldings; fiddler, Stuart Duncan; dobroist, Jerry Douglas; and vocalists,
Arnold McCuller, Kate Markowitz, Andrea
Zonn and Dorian Holley.