James Taylor – One Man Band – Craft Recordings

by | Jun 8, 2019 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

James Taylor – One Man Band – Craft Recordings CR 00181- 180 gm Vinyl Audiophile 2 LP  – 2007 – ****

(James Taylor – guitars; Larry Goldings – Yamaha concert grand piano, synthesizer, organ, harmonium)

James Taylor has surely stood the test of time as an iconic pure tenor vocalist, with folk rock standard compositions that bring back all the memories of special times that baby boomers experienced in their formative years, largely in the 1970s. Those were times when possibilities were endless, and hopes for positive political and social changes were felt to be inevitable. Even though, these hopes were often fleeting, and changes in societal norms did not meet expectations, the music that James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, and Bob Dylan provided, could help to inspire and bring back memories of what was and could still be…

With the renaissance back to vinyl and its “warm” acoustics, boomers can revisit some of the best recorded James Taylor, available for the first time on 180 gm vinyl with the re-release of One Man Band. Over a three day period in July, 2007, Taylor recorded 19 tracks in the intimate confines of the Colonial Theater in the Berkshires, accompanied only on keyboards by the talented Larry Goldings. Adding to the aura, on “My Traveling Star” and “Shower the People” was the choral accompaniment of the 17 member Tanglewood Festival Chorus. If JT backed by a chorus doesn’t bring on a peaceful vibe, then you’re beyond hope…

Taylor’s voice has aged so well. It’s like your favorite warm drink in front of a crackling fire on a winter night. All is right in the world, at least for 90 minutes…

All your favorites are here, including “Fire and Rain,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Country Road,” and “Never Die Young.” The only clunker here is “Slap Leather” in which a drum machine is added. Other than that, the other tracks flow well, complete with light hearted banter from James. He still has the gift to make women swoon from 25 to 80, and not raise the ire of their male partners.

Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, is releasing some prime material from artists ranging from R.E.M and Creedence to Isaac Hayes and Dave Alvin. The James Taylor issue features mastering and lacquers cut at Sterling Sound, and pressing at RTI. I found no complaints on the fidelity of this live recording. If your James Taylor collection is all digital downloads or on your I-Pod, you owe it to yourself to experience JT in vintage sound.

Tracklist:
Side A:
Something in the Way She Moves
Never Die Young
The Frozen Man
Mean Old Man
School Song
Country Road

Side B:
Slap Leather
My Traveling Star
You’ve Got a Friend
Steamroller Blues

Side C:
Secret of Life
Line Em’ Up
Chili Dog
Shower the People
Sweet Baby James

Side D:
Carolina on My Mind
Fire and Rain
Copperline
You Can Close Your Eyes

—Jeff Krow

More Information at Craft Recordings Website:

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