"Before This World" -- Taylor's First #1 Album
James Taylor's "Before This World" has earned a NAMM TEC Award for Creative Achievement at the Winter NAMM Convention. The Technical Excellence and Creativity Award was presented for Record Production/Album of the year. The recording was Taylor's first album to hit the top spot on the Billboard 200 in his more than four-decade career.
"Before This World" has also been nominated for "Best Pop Vocal Album" and "Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical" Grammy Awards. The album, produced and engineered by Dave O'Donnell, began with tracking at Taylor's private studio in Massachusetts and later worked on at United Recording in Hollywood.
"In addition to James' performances and the great songs, this record is all about how great his band is," commented O'Donnell, who has been working with Taylor since 2000. "Jimmy Johnson on bass, Steve Gadd on drums, Michael Landau on guitar, Larry Goldings on keyboards and accordion, Luis Conte on percussion, and the singers Arnold McCuller, David Lasley, Kate Markowitz, and Andrea Zonn."
Grammy-winner Dave O'Donnell has worked with Taylor for the past 15 years, and has recorded with many top artists, including Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Keb' Mo', Lyle Lovett, Milton Nascimento, Joss Stone, Morrissey and Ray Charles.
"I loved working on this album at United," added O'Donnell. "Assistant engineer Scott Moore was great and I love that old Neve console. They have a nice selection of outboard gear, including 1176's that were in perfect shape. They also have excellent microphones, as good as you can get, and everything else we needed without having to bring in anything extra."
The album was worked on in United's legendary, Bill Putnam designed studio B, which boasts a meticulously maintained Neve 8068/8088 console, numerous vintage outboard equipment and custom built mains. Now owned by Hudson Pacific Properties, United has been famous for its technical excellence and phenomenal sounding rooms since 1957.
"Before This World," on the Concord Music label, is James Taylor's 17th full-length album and the first disc of original material since 2002's "October Road."
Pictured in United Recording’s famed Studio B in Hollywood are (L-R) James Taylor with his Olson guitar, assistant engineer Scott Moore, and producer/engineer Dave O’Donnell.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND WRITTEN BY MR. BONZAI / DAVID GOGGIN COMMUNICATION ARCS