James Taylor is ready to release his long-awaited new album, and as promised, it features the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer diving into the Great American Songbook.
American Standard, due out February 28, is Taylor’s first release since 2015’s number-one album Before This World. It features Taylor putting his spin on standards like “The Nearness of You,” “Pennies from Heaven” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” as well as famous songs from musicals, such as “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” from South Pacific, “Ol’ Man River” from Show Boat, and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from Oklahoma!
The album’s first single is “Teach Me Tonight,” a jazz standard that’s been recorded by stars like Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole and even Aretha Franklin.
In a statement, James says, “I’ve always had songs I grew up with that I remember really well, that were part of the family record collection — and I had a sense of how to approach [them]…we paid attention to the chords and melody, but we were interested in doing something new, and in bringing something new to it. We’ve reinterpreted the songs, that’s what makes it worth doing.”
Here’s the track list for American Standard:
“My Blue Heaven”
“Teach Me Tonight”
“As Easy As Rolling Off a Log”
“Almost Like Being in Love”
“Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”
“The Nearness Of You”
“You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”
“God Bless the Child”
“Pennies from Heaven”
“My Heart Stood Still”
“Ol’ Man River”
“It’s Only a Paper Moon”
“The Surrey with the Fringe on Top”
Meanwhile, James has also announced a summer tour with Jackson Browne. It kicks off May 15 in New Orleans and will wrap up July 10 in Camden, N.J. As previously reported, Taylor is touring Canada with Bonnie Raitt from April 14 through May 5, and he’s got a special show scheduled for Boston’s Fenway Park on June 21 with Shawn Colvin and Brandi Carlile.
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