October 21, 2022 | « back

BRIGHTONANDHOVENEWS.CO.UK — James Taylor & His All-Star Band thrill Brighton audience

By : John Mileham


James Taylor is an extraordinary performer and is part of 20th century music history, as an American singer-songwriter his discography consists of 20 studio albums, six compilation albums, at least five live albums, one tribute album, nine video albums and 40 singles. It’s obvious from the Brighton Centre audience’s reaction as he came quietly onto the stage, that he was held with a degree of reverence.

He sat down and started playing ‘Something In The Way She Moves’ with the rest of the band quietly walking on stage during the song. His voice has gone untouched by the years, every note and line is as warm and as tuneful as ever. With amazing harmonies from the backing singers, this optimistic song comes together as one breathtaking performance; intimate and thoughtful. At the end of the song he declared, it’s great to be back in Brighton.

His performance was split into two sets. The first set included the fantastic ‘Sweet Baby James’ and ‘make the most of life’ message within ‘Never Die Young’, which Taylor joked he was now too old to worry about. When it came to ‘That’s Why I’m Here’ he talked about the sad death in 1982 of his friend John Belushi, which became a wakeup call for his own addiction. He regularly took the opportunity to introduce band members and talk about their own virtuosity and contribution to music. For ‘Long Ago And Far Away’, Taylor explained that he had asked Joni Mitchell for permission to use her backing vocals from the original track recorded in 1971. Taylor closed out the first set with a cover of Carole King’s ‘Up On The Roof’, which ended things on a high.

As the interval commenced Taylor stayed on stage signing autographs and talking to fans, it was a really nice touch and truly appreciated by those in the audience.

The second part of the show opened with ‘Teach Me Tonight’, covered by many artists including Dinah Washington, that allowed him to talk about a childhood fantasy of “getting it on” with the teacher. When It came to ‘Steamroller’ it was time for some solid rock blues with a brilliant guitar solo from Michael Landau. As you would expect, the biggest reaction of the night was reserved for ‘Fire And Rain’. Also in the second part of the set, Taylor hit on favourites such as ‘Carolina In My Mind’, ‘Mexico’ and the optimistic anthem ‘Shower The People’.

At the end of the second set it was time for the audience to shout, clap and stamp to demand an encore. By the time Taylor returned to the stage with the rest of the band the audience were all on their feet. It was time for two more classics ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ and ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)’ with the audience singing and clapping throughout. They still weren’t prepared to let him go so one more song was performed ‘Wandering’ as they said goodbye.

The All Star Band:

Steve Gadd:
So what can you say about one of the greatest drummers of all time he’s worked with so many performers, including Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton to mention just a few. And this performance was no exception, he’s an extraordinary drummer.

Dorian Holley:
American backing singer and vocal coach who has performed with many artists, in particular Michael Jackson on both his ‘Bad World Tour’ in 1987 and ‘Dangerous Tour’ in 1992.

Andrea Zonn:
Since 2003, Andrea has toured and recorded with James Taylor. She is a singer and violinist and has done a considerable amount of work with Alison Krauss.

Kate Markowitz:
Kate is an American singer-songwriter who regularly works with James Taylor as a backing singer. She has also had a platinum selling single in Germany in the 1990s under the pseudonym of Kate Yanai.

Arnold McCuller:
He’s an actor, solo artist and session musician and his work touring as a backing singer with James Taylor as well as Linda Ronstadt, Phil Collins amongst many others. He’s also performed in acting parts in movies, including ‘American Hot Wax’ and ‘Hollywood Nights’.

Larry Goldings:
This jazz pianist has an incredible track record of working with many artists. He’s also composed and contributed to a number of soundtracks including work on Clint Eastwood ‘Space Cowboys’.

Michael Landau:
Guitarist Michael Landau has supported many musicians and has been touring with the likes of Miles Davis and Whitney Houston. As a session guitarist he’s worked on albums with the likes of Pink Floyd, Phil Collins, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Nicks and of course James Taylor to name just some of the artists.

Jimmy Johnson:
An accomplished bass guitarist, Jimmy regularly works with James Taylor and Alan Holdsworth and is a member of the ‘Film & BB’s’, a contemporary jazz band.

James Taylor & His All-Star Band at Brighton Centre 13.10.22 (pic Michael Hundertmark)

Set 1:
‘Something In The Way She Moves’
‘Country Road’
‘That’s Why I’m Here’
‘Walking Man’
‘Never Die Young’
‘(I’ve Got to) Stop Thinkin’ ‘Bout That’
‘Sweet Baby James’
‘The Frozen Man’
‘Up On The Roof’ (Carole King cover)
‘Long Ago And Far Away’

Set 2:
‘Teach Me Tonight’ (Dinah Washington cover)
‘Bittersweet’ (John Sheldon cover)
‘You Make It Easy’
‘Fire And Rain’
‘Carolina In My Mind’
‘Shower The People’
‘Your Smiling Face’
‘You’ve Got A Friend’ (Carole King cover)
‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)’ (Marvin Gaye cover)