Sketches of James: Selection from the James Taylor Songbook

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David R. Adler
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David R. Adler
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/23/2001
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923858027
  • Catalog Number: 8580

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Steamroller - Tower of Power (4:17)
  2. 2 Long Ago and Far Away (4:19)
  3. 3 Nobody But You (5:37)
  4. 4 Your Smiling Face (3:54)
  5. 5 Something in the Way She Moves - Mitchel Forman Trio (6:35)
  6. 6 Only a Dream in Rio (4:58)
  7. 7 You Make It Easy (4:58)
  8. 8 New Tune (5:41)
  9. 9 Fire and Rain - Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Ensemble (3:44)
  10. 10 Secret Of Life (4:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Patrice Rushen Keyboards
Tower of Power Track Performer
Gerald Albright Soprano Saxophone
Robben Ford Track Performer
Shirley Horn Piano
Les 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 Jr. Guitar
Abraham Laboriel Sr. 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 III 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, Mastering
Tim Weston Producer
Jeff Lancaster Art Direction
Kaz Hori Executive Producer
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