Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Taylor Quartet
The James Taylor Quartet are a British four piece jazz funk band who have become renowned for their live performances. They were formed by Hammond organ player James Taylor following the break-up of his former band The Prisoners in the wake of Stiff Records' bankruptcy. The core line-up is James Taylor (Hammond organ), David Taylor (guitar), Gary Crockett (bass) and Neil Robinson (drums) though recordings and live performances often feature a vocalist and horn section. The band are often referred to by the acronym JTQ, and have no connection to the American singer-songwriter James Taylor.
The James Taylor Quartet's first single, 'Blow-Up' (named after the film of the same name), was released in 1985 on the Re Elect The President label, which would later become the Acid Jazz label. The track was championed by the NME and John Peel, appearing three years running on Peel's seminal Festive 50 Chart. The band's debut album, Mission Impossible was released the following year and predominantly consisted of covers of Sixties film themes such as Alfie, Mrs Robinson and Goldfinger in a rough, uptempo, almost punk-like style that was primarily focussed on Taylor's Hammond organ playing. Their second album, The Money Spyder, was the soundtrack to an imaginary spy film, applying the band's distinctive style to Taylor's own compositions.
Whilst promoting these albums JTQ developed a strong reputation as a live band that remains to this day. The live set focuses on accessible rhythm driven music that some classify as having elements of modern dance music, despite including a lot of improvised solos. During this period a contract with a major record led to them playing to ever increasing audiences. The band also recorded their signature tune 'The Theme from Starsky and Hutch ' during this period. This led to the release of the live album Absolute in 1991, which attempted to capture the experience of the band in concert.
In the early 1990s the band changed direction and released a string of song-based albums to appeal to the then fashionable Soul and Acid Jazz scene in the UK. They featuring vocalists such as Rose Windross of Soul II Soul, Alison Limerick and Noel McKoy. McKoy became a permanent member of the band for part of this period. The single 'Love The Life' reached the Top 40 and the accompanying album Supernatural Feeling reached the top 30 in the UK charts. The next album In The Hand Of The Inevitable saw a return to the Acid Jazz label where it remains the label's biggest selling album.
Since then the James Taylor Quartet have returned to their original style of instrumental Hammond-led jazz funk workouts on albums that have showcased the band's instrumental talents. Cover versions such as Whole Lotta Love, Dirty Harry and Jesus Christ Superstar are still recorded in the same spirit as the band's debut 'Blow-Up' single, but the albums are mainly original compositions. Live gigs regularly feature a vocalist and showcase songs from the soul period of the band. They received a Music Of Black Origin nomination for their second live album Whole Lotta Live.
The James Taylor Quartet produced a bonafide film theme of their own when they contributed to the soundtrack of the first Austin Powers film. As well as their own recordings, James Taylor and members of the quartet have collaborated with Tom Jones on the duets album Reload and featured on records by The Wonder Stuff, Manic Street Preachers, The Pogues, Kingmaker and U2. They were also the house band on Gaby Roslin's short-lived Channel 4 chat show.
- Mission Impossible (1986)
- The Money Spyder (1987)
- Wait a Minute (1988)
- Get Organized (1989)
- Do Your Own Thing (1990)
- Supernatural Feeling (1991)
- Absolute (live) (1993)
- BBC Sessions (1995)
- In the Hand of the Inevitable (1995)
- A Few Useful Tips about Living Underground (1996)
- Whole Lotta Live (1998)
- JTQ, A Collection - the Best of the Acid Jazz Years (1999)
- Penthouse Suite (1999)
- A Bigger Picture (1999)
- Room at the Top (2002)
- The Oscillator (2003)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details