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Sketches of James: Selection from the James Taylor Songbook
     

Sketches of James: Selection from the James Taylor Songbook

 
Jazz tributes to pop and rock giants continue to crop up, and they always walk an uncomfortable tightrope between artistic exploration and commercial palatability. Sure enough, that tension plays itself out on producer Tim Weston's polyglot tribute to James Taylor. (In 1997 Weston similarly took on the work of

Overview

Jazz tributes to pop and rock giants continue to crop up, and they always walk an uncomfortable tightrope between artistic exploration and commercial palatability. Sure enough, that tension plays itself out on producer Tim Weston's polyglot tribute to James Taylor. (In 1997 Weston similarly took on the work of Brian Wilson, much as Bob Belden has addressed Prince and Carole King.) Here the smooth jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright ("Your Smiling Face") weighs in alongside Flora Purim and Airto Moreira ("Only a Dream in Rio"), Les McCann ("Nobody But You"), and Tower of Power ("Steamroller"), to name only a few. Despite expert musicianship from a host of big names, much of the music comes off as ear candy. But there are some interesting surprises, such as guitarist/singer Robben Ford's reunion with his erstwhile colleagues from the Yellowjackets, Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip, on "You Make It Easy." (Of all the album's featured vocalists, Ford's voice is closest to Taylor's.) Mitchel Forman, known for his fusion synth work, takes a turn with an acoustic piano trio rendition of "Something in the Way She Moves," one of Taylor's finest melodies. The harmonic sophistication and blues feeling of much of Taylor's work is brought out in these treatments, but attention to lyrical content seems absent from Poncho Sanchez's "Fire and Rain," where the peppy Latin dance feel makes a trifle of one of the most devastatingly sad songs ever written.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/23/2001
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0099923858027
catalogNumber:
8580

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Patrice Rushen   Keyboards
Tower of Power   Track Performer
Gerald Albright   Soprano Saxophone
Robben Ford   Track Performer
Shirley Horn   Piano
McCann   Track Performer
New York Voices   Track Performer
Don Grusin   Keyboards
Shelby Flint   Background Vocals
Airto Moreira   Percussion,Drums
Jimmy Haslip   Bass
Alex Acuña   Percussion
Ramon Banda   Timbales
Tony Banda   Bass
Dave Carpenter   Bass
Oscar Castro-Neves   Guitar
Larry Corbett   Cello
Sal Cracchiolo   Trumpet
Andy Ezrin   Piano
Mitchel Forman   Piano
Glenn Garrett   Clarinet
Mary Hylan   Background Vocals
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Abraham Laboriel   Bass
Bob Leatherbarrow   Drums
Scott Martin   Saxophone
Carole Mukogawa   Viola
Gary Novak   Drums
Flora Purim   Track Performer
Land Richards   Drums
David Torres   Conga
Gayle Levant   Harp
Paul Nowinski   Bass
Jose Rodriguez   Bongos
Carmen Twilley   Background Vocals
Larry Richards   Cello
Steve Williams   Percussion,Drums
Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Ensemble   Track Performer
Mitchel Forman Trio   Track Performer
Karen Jones   Violin
Ralph Morrison   Concert Master
Terry Clarke   Drums

Technical Credits

James Taylor   Composer
Gerald Albright   Arranger
Don Grusin   Arranger
Emilio Castillo   Producer
Darmon Meader   Arranger
Roger Nichols   Engineer
Tim Weston   Producer
Jeff Lancaster   Art Direction
Kaz Hori   Executive Producer

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