James Taylor's Great American Songbook

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0120200308

Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor guides us through his favourite songs from the Great American Songbook, exploring the enduring appeal of standards such as Makin’ Whoopee, Walking My Baby Back Home and God Bless The Child. He reveals how the melodies, chord changes and lyrics have had a profound influence on his own songwriting style.

We’ll hear how this music was part of his parents’ record collection and provided a soundtrack to James’ childhood years in North Carolina. This started a lifelong love affair with these songs that he believes represent the high point of American popular music.

We’ll also learn how James was the first artist to sign to The Beatles’ Apple Records in 1968, why he admires the craft of the great teams such as Rodgers and Hammerstein and their ability to ‘write to order’ and how modern production and performance could be taking us away from this level of songwriting skill.

An eclectic playlist includes classics from Ray Charles and Betty Carter, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, a song from the original album soundtrack of the musical Oklahoma! and interpretations of Songbook favourites by fellow singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga.

James Taylor plays his favourite American standards.

Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor on his favourite Great American Songbook records.

0220200315

James Taylor plays his favourite American standards.

Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor guides us through more of his favourite songs from the Great American Songbook, exploring the enduring appeal of standards such as Almost Like Being In Love, They Can’t Take That Away From Me and Teach Me Tonight and how the melodies, chord changes and lyrics have had a profound influence on his own catalogue of songs.

We’ll hear how these songs played by his parents were the first level of his musical foundation and provided a soundtrack to James’ early years growing up in North Carolina.This started a lifelong process of interpreting these songs on the guitar and were an education and the bedrock of his musical vocabulary.

We’ll also hear how James built an echo chamber in his home studio to try and emulate the old reverbs on these recordings and that the influence of this catalogue on his own work led to him to receive the biggest compliment of his career, from his idol - Paul McCartney.

An eclectic playlist includes classics from Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole and Nancy Wilson, an original cast recording from the musical Guys and Dolls and interpretations of Songbook favourites by James’ contemporaries including Linda Rondstadt, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor on his favourite Great American Songbook records.