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James Taylor Quartet

I James Taylor Quartet (JTQ) sono un gruppo acid jazz e funk britannico, capitanati dall'hammondista James Taylor.
Sono famose le performance live del gruppo, dove è possibile godere appieno del loro talento, basate su sonorità funky con spazio per gli assoli e coinvolgimento del pubblico.

James Taylor - one of the great British instrumentalists of his generation - has taken his trademark howling Hammond sound to the masses for over 25 years; 2011 sees the band tip into its 26th year, still famed for its upbeat, energetic live shows... with no signs of slowing down. The band’s relentlessly entertaining tunes take inspiration from the rare-groove style funk, and boogaloo funk of the 60s and 70s and, the band is, without a doubt, one of the most important jazz-pop crossover outfits in British live musical history today.

After the collapse of mod legends The Prisoners in the 1980s, and before moving to Sweden, James recorded some demos with brother David on guitar, the bass player from The Prisoners, and a drummer from down the road... and thus The James Taylor Quartet was born. From tiny acorns mighty oaks do indeed grow, and it wasn't long before the first single, Blow Up, had been released, the band were in the studio rehearsing for the Mission Impossible EP, gigs were booked, and the late great John Peel was offering a session.

Skip forward 25 years and JTQ has evolved into one of the most exciting and well respected touring bands in the UK. With numerous albums to its name, the band’s recorded output is not to be scoffed at. 'Prolific' is an understatement, with albums touching genres as diverse as jazz, funk, soul, rock, and even rap, not to mention a handful of library albums in between. Each album is an absolute must for any Hammond fan: James' playing providing a solid and accomplished lead as always. Live, the band is explosive, with a breathtaking, diverse unmatched back catalogue.

JTQ’s fired-up signature tune, The Theme from Starsky and Hutch, cemented its reputation as master of the jazz-funk-r’n’b workout; 60s spy themes, psychedelic and free-form jazz all added something to the band’s distinctive sound. Originally playing the Hammond B3 organ in the UK mod revival band The Prisoners, James Taylor formed his own quartet, and began playing music similar to the rare-groove jazz-funk then in vogue around London. By the early 90s, that movement had spawned acid jazz, and JTQ found itself at the forefront of a vibrant young club scene. The first single, Blow-Up, was released on the Re Elect The President label, a precursor to Acid Jazz. The band's debut album, Mission Impossible, was released the following year, predominantly consisting of covers of 60s film themes such as Alfie, Mrs Robinson and Goldfinger. In the early 1990s, the single Love The Life reached the Top 40, and the accompanying album, Supernatural Feeling, settled in the Top 30 UK charts. After releases on Polydor and Big Life Records, JTQ returned to Acid Jazz, and In The Hand of The Inevitable remains the label's biggest selling album to date.

In 1997 James had the chance to fulfil a dream when he was asked to score the theme tune to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, the spy spoof starring Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley. JTQ’s Whole Lotta Live album was nominated for a MOBO award in 1998, and the following year James featured on Tom Jones’ duets album, Reload. James’ musical talent has been admired by numerous other acts: The Wonderstuff, Manic Street Preachers, The Pogues and U2 have all featured James and his distinctive Hammond sound on their albums.

JTQ’s last release was in 2009 called New World, on which James supplemented his trademark howling Hammond sound with grand piano. New World featured 11 original tunes by James (two co-written with guest vocalist Corina Greyson) and features John Parricelli (guitar), Andy McKinney (bass), Adam Betts (drums), Nick Smart (trumpet/flugelhorn), Gareth Lockrane (flutes), and the aforementioned Corina Greyson. Prior to New World, JTQ released Live at The Jazz Café, in May 2008. Don’t Mess With Mr T: James Taylor Quartet Plays Motown was released in September 2007 on Dome Records, featuring guest lead vocalists Omar, Hil St Soul, and Donna Gardier. 2007 also saw the release of Picking Up Where We Left Off by a new outfit, James Taylor’s 4th Dimension; James Taylor Quartet was nominated in the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards the same year. JTQ’s A Taste of Cherry was released in September 2006.

For his 25th Anniversary JTQ are releasing “The Template”, marking the coming of age of the Hammond master at the forefront of the world jazz funk scene. Taylors Hammond work ramps up the tension alongside award winning flautist ‘Gareth Lockrane’ all set to a searing groove that throws down the gauntlet to all challengers. This is heavy modern instrumental music at its best delivered by an act that is on top of its game and clearly enjoying them selves. Add to the mix the soulful angelic voice of UK’s great white hope ‘John Turrell’ and JTQ lay back into a mesmeric mellow groove with the anthemic emotionally charged ‘Woman’ – This will be out as a Single on 21th March 2011. The Album never lets up the intensity with subtle and yet powerfully dynamic musicianship to be released on Chinchin records on 15th April 2011.


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