DVD Review: James Taylor: A Musicares Person of the Year Tribute
By Jeff Swindoll Oct 25, 2006, 14:38 GMT
During the 2006 Grammy week in Los Angeles, MusiCares brought together a group of legendary artists to pay tribute to James Taylor and his famous works at their annual Person of the Year gala. The event honored Taylor for his outstanding contributions to the world of music and for his exemplary philanthropic efforts. The amazing lineup featured Taylorís friends and contemporaries performing great songs from his catalogue of music. ...more
The charity MusiCares chose singer/songwriter James Taylor as itís Person of the Year 2006. To celebrate the honor they threw a big bash and since itís all about the music they invited a wonderful range of performers to perform Taylorís songs.
What is MusiCares? (from the flyer inside the DVD):
ďEstablished in 1989 by the Recording Academy, MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical, and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.
The annual MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute dinner and silent auction take place during Grammy week. Each year, the dinner honors a recording artist who has made a significant contribution to the world of music and has demonstrated extraordinary humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.Ē
This year the honoree is James Taylor. To that end theyíve invited a bevy of performers to pay tribute to Taylor by singing his songs. The lineup is an impressive one and Taylorís songs are always compelling.
The lineup and songs they perform:
The Dixie Chicks: Shower the People
Bonnie Raitt: Rainy Day Man
India.Arie: Secret OíLife
Jackson Browne, David Crosby, and Sheryl Crow: Mexico
Sting: You Can Close Your Eyes
(Cheech Marin appears on stage to introduce the next act)
Dr. John and Taj Mahal: Everybody has the Blues
Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas: Carolina on my Mind
Keith Urban: Country Road
Bruce Springsteen: Millworker (heís not introduced and you get the idea that his appearance was a surprise)
Carole King: Youíve got a Friend (joined by a special guest)
James Taylor: Shed a Little Light
James Taylor: How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
James Taylor: Fire and Rain
The show is a treasure trove for lovers of the guest performers or of James Taylorís music. All of them are wonderful, but my favorites were Everybody has the Blues by Dr. John and Taj Mahal and Millworker by Bruce Springsteen. Though itís great when James Taylor takes the stage. Another funny moment is when Jimmy Buffet tributes Taylor via videotape and chronicles their parallel career paths and hair loss. If youíre a star watcher you may recognize a few famous faces in the crowd. I spotted Nicole Kidman sitting next to Keith Urban and Paul Williams (a personal favorite).
The show is presented in fullscreen. You can either watch the show in 5.1 Dolby Digital or PCM Stereo. There are no special features. However, net proceeds from the sale of the DVD will benefit MusiCares.
Fans of James Taylor will want to pick up this DVD or fans of the guest performers will want to pick it up as well. Itís a fine tribute and a wonderful evening full of great music. If you do pick it up, youíll also be donating to the MusiCares charity. So itís all good.