Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor won his sixth overall Grammy award today for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for his critically acclaimed album American Standard at the 63rd annual Grammy Award ceremony.  Taylor posted his reaction to the news on social media shortly after the award was announced at the virtual 2021 Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony.  Click HERE to see Taylor’s reaction on Twitter.    

American Standard, Taylor’s 19th studio album, was released in February 2020 to glowing reviews and major chart entries in the US and overseas.  The Fantasy Records release landed at #4 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart and #1 on its Top Album Sales, Top Rock, and Top Americana/Folk charts.  American Standard, the19th studio album of Taylor’s illustrious career, was his 13th Top 10 album overall and with it, Taylor became the first artist ever with Top 10 albums in each of the last six decades. Additionally, the collection debuted at #1 on the Canadian chart and #11 in the UK (where it was also the #1 sales album.) Listen to and buy American Standard HERE.

On American Standard, Taylor, reimagines some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century, infusing new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art. The 14 carefully chosen selections naturally feature Taylor’s one-of-a-kind vocal ability and incomparable musicianship, but what makes the album so unique is the inventive way he and fellow co-producers, longtime collaborator Dave O’Donnell and esteemed guitarist John Pizzarelli, approached the project: beautifully simple, stripped-down guitar arrangements based on Taylor’s and Pizzarelli’s skillful guitar work rather than the more traditional piano. The effect is mesmerizing.

The U.K.’s Independent said American Standard is “the American songbook elegantly traced,” and USA Today affirmed, “[American Standard] covers the Great American Songbook faithfully and masterfully.” Taylor made a series of high-profile appearances including CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Live with Kelly and Ryan and was also the featured Mega Mentor on NBC’s The Voice.

A small sampling of the album’s inspired repertoire includes James’ swinging take on Walter Donaldson and George A. Whiting’s “My Blue Heaven,” Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner’s enduring “Almost Like Being In Love,” from the score of Brigadoon; Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s enchanting “The Nearness of You,” Frank Loesser’s jaunty “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” from the Broadway smash Guys and Dolls; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s piercing social commentary from South Pacific, “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” a superb reading of the Billie Holiday-Arthur Herzog Jr. classic, “God Bless The Child,” and the first ever cover of a song originally featured in the 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon Katnip Kollege, “As Easy As Rolling Off A Log.” 

Last November, James Taylor shared a companion 3-Track collection, Over The Rainbow – The American Standard EP. American Standard is available in a variety of formats including a limited edition 180-gram 45 RPM double LP. Watch the album trailer: HERE.

Link to Hi-Res Artwork HERE

Photo Credit: Norman Seeff


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