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Preview James Taylor’s New ‘American Standard’ Album with a Making-Of Vignette

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On Feb. 28, legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor will release a new collection titled American Standard. Announced in late January, the album (up for pre-order right now) is a collection of re-imagined songs from throughout the 20th century, through the musical lens and vision of Taylor and his colleagues.

To further preview the album, a nine-minute behind-the-scenes video surfaced on Tuesday, highlighting the process that went into the song selection and more — including some clips of Taylor playing guitar, among other key moments.

More details about American Standard, from the video’s description:

It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and make them completely their own. Unlike most who have tackled similar material, American Standard’s beautifully simple, stripped-down arrangements are based on the 2-guitar collaboration of James Taylor and John Pizzarelli, rather than standard piano arrangements. James was determined to keep that sound at the center of the project, and the effect is mesmerizing. American Standard was primarily recorded at James’s home studio, TheBarn in 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 make significant contributions here including:

Steve Gadd, drums
Luis Conte, percussion
Jimmy Johnson, bass
Viktor Krauss, upright bass
Larry Goldings, melodica/Hammond B3 Organ
Walt Fowler, trumpet/flugelhorn
Lou Marini, clarinet/sax
Stuart Duncan, violin
Jerry Douglas, dobro
Arnold McCuller, vocals
Kate Markowitz, vocals
Andrea Zonn, vocals
Dorian Holley, vocals
Caroline Taylor, vocals

And here’s the album’s track listing:

“My Blue Heaven” (Walter Donaldson-George A. Whiting)
“Moon River” (Henry Mancini-Johnny Mercer)
“Teach Me Tonight” (Gene De Paul-Sammy Cahn)
“As Easy As Rolling Off A Log” (M.K. Jerome-Jack Scholl)
“Almost Like Being In Love” (Frederick Loewe-Alan Jay Lerner)
“Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat” (Frank Loesser)
“The Nearness Of You” (Hoagy Carmichael-Ned Washington)
“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” (Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein II)
“God Bless The Child” (Billie Holiday-Arthur Herzog Jr.)
“Pennies From Heaven” (Arthur Johnston-Johnny Burke)
“My Heart Stood Still” (Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart)
“Ol’ Man River” (Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II)
“It’s Only A Paper Moon” (Harold Arlen-Yip Hardburg-Billy Rose)
“The Surrey With The Fringe On Top” (Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein II)

As if all of the above wasn’t exciting enough, Taylor also announced a tour with fellow legendary singer/songwriter Jackson Browne. The outing will take the two on the road to 26 cities, starting in mid-May:

5/15 New Orleans LA @ Smoothie King Center
5/16 Houston TX @ Toyota Center
5/18 Ft. Worth TX @ Dickies Arena
5/21 Salt Lake City, UT @ Maverik Center
5/22 Boise, ID @ ExtraMile Arena
5/24 Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
5/25 Portland, OR @ Moda Center
5/27 San Francisco, CA @ Chase Center
5/28 Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
5/29 San Diego, CA @ Pechanga Arena
6/10 Chicago, IL @ United Center
6/12 Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
6/13 Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Center
6/15 Dayton, OH @ Nutter Center
6/16 Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
6/18 Hershey, PA @ Giant Center
6/19 Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
6/21 Boston, MA @ Fenway Park*
6/23 Roanoke, VA @ Berglund Center Coliseum
6/24 Charleston, WV @ Charleston Coliseum
6/26 Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
6/27 Memphis, TN @ FedEx Forum
6/29 Atlanta, GA @ Infinite Energy Center
6/30 Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
7/4 Lenox, MA @ Tanglewood**
7/7 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/8 Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health @ Jones Beach Theater
7/10 Camden, NJ @ BB&T Center

All dates w/Jackson Browne except *w/ Brandi Carlile and Shawn Colvin
**no guest artist

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