(L-R) James Taylor with his Olson guitar, assistant engineer Scott Moore, and producer/engineer Dave O’Donnell. Photo by David Goggin.
Hollywood, CA (February 8, 2016)—James Taylor earned a NAMM TEC Award for Creative Achievement in January for his latest album, Before This World, which he worked on at United Recording in Hollywood.
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 a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical categories. 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. Musicians on the album include 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 O’Donnell has worked with Taylor for the past 15 years, and has recorded with 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 1176s 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 Bill Putnam-designed studio B, which boasts a Neve 8068/8088 console, numerous vintage outboard equipment and custom-built main monitors. Now owned by Hudson Pacific Properties, United has been famous for its technical excellence and phenomenal sounding rooms since 1957.