James Taylor, currently touring in the US with his fellow giant of American song, Jackson Browne, has posted an archive video clip of his 2007 performance of “Never Die Young.” It’s taken from his One Man Band CD and DVD release of the time, from the tour of the same name on which he was accompanied only by keyboard player Larry Goldings.
In the liner notes for One Man Band, Taylor wrote at some length about that tour. “Of course, Larry Goldings does more than just accompany me,” he noted. “His growing presence in the world of jazz is well acknowledged, both for his own recordings and live performances and as a member of a good number of team efforts.
“I tend to form musical (and personal) relationships with other players and then stick with them for years. Arnold McCuller and David Lasley have worked with me since the mid-70s and others nearly as long (Jimmy Johnson, Steve Gadd, Mike Landau, Kate Markowitz, Valerie Carter…).”
Taylor continued: “After my great friend, producer and pianist Don Grolnick died in ’96, I performed with a number of excellent keyboard players. It was during the recording of my October Road album in ’02 that I worked with Larry. Russ Titelman had booked him to play on ‘Mean Old Man’ along with Steve Gadd on drums, Jimmy Johnson on bass, Clifford Carter on synth, and the fine seven-string jazz guitarist, John Pizzarelli. This was an incredible band, and after hearing Larry Goldings’ solo on that song, first time through, he pinned it. That was our introduction and he’s been my first call ever since.
“Then there’s the bus factor. You see, someone’s playing may be great, but what’s it going to be like spending 10 hours a day riding to the next gig with them for a couple of months? Larry’s Bus Factor is not a factor for he is a bus riding fool, for a fact.
“Part of his talent is his ability to ‘split his hands.’ Though not as painful as it sounds, it does require great focus and skill to play a melody/accompaniment with his right hand and, with his left hand, (often on another keyboard) play a distinct bass pattern. This Larry can do with effortless grace, and he has made this One Man Band show possible. He is a committed father, brother, and son, and I am in his debt. Larry Goldings is my One Man Band.”
Buy or stream the One Man Band album.