The James Taylor Quartet
The James Taylor Quartet
This debut, released in '86, was naturally featured around Taylor's Hammond organ sound to produce classic covers of Sixties film themes, and other heavily grooving instrumental punk funk tunes. With JTQ's following growing, the band were encouraged to put out their second album on Re Elect The President. By the time it was released in '87, the band's attentions were being drawn away from their recording career to their now massive live audience. JTQ's emphasis on live 'dance' music has been the key to the band's success, enabling them to establish a solid relationship between them and their fans.With the focus now strongly on being a 'live' band, The Quartet gigged relentlessly, selling out on the London club circuit.
During this period, mjor record company interest was aroused resulting in a long term deal with Polydor. The James Taylor Quartet released three albums on Polydor. A number of hit singles were spawned from these such as the acclaimed and well-loved classic "Theme From Starsky & Hutch".With the release of their first live album in 1991, The Quartet moved to Polydor subsidiary Big Life. Featuring guest vocals from Rose Windross of Soul II Soul and Noel McKoy, the album initiated JTQ's introduction to the Soul Market.
In 1992, Noel McKoy officially became the Quartet's lead vocalist. In this year alone, the band performed over one hundred and fifty shows in 15 different countries, including destinations as far flung as Thailand, Japan and the USA. The climax of this was headlining in from of 5,000 people at London's Brixton Academy. In 1994, with chart success behind them and their established international live network, The James Taylor Quartet made the decision to go full circle and rejoin Edward Piller at the independent Acid Jazz. The first album from his new home was received with critical acclaim and is Acid Jazz's current top seller having sold over 200,000 copies - further proof that James Taylor is one of the great Hammond players of this generation.
Also released was the retrospective BBC Radio Sessions LP and for the first time James' material was released in the USA via Hollywood records with tracks from being the highest climber in the college radio charts. James' 10th album saw a return to the style he loved most - instrumental Hammond led rocking jazz funk workouts. It featured the stripped down to the bone sound that pays respect to the earliest JTQ hits like and the press respected him for the move away from commercial pop/soul and the now wholly instrumental live set ripped up the crowds more than ever. 1996 saw James play two full sell out weeks at London's Jazz Cafe and a sell out show at The Brixton Academy, as well as tours in uncharted territories from Brazil to Yugoslavia. In 1998 James had the chance to fulfil a dream - film themes always featured heavily throughout his albums and he was asked to score a theme for Austin Powers, a spy spoof starring Mike Myers (Wayne's World).
James also set up his own label JTI Records, releasing a compilation album of various artists who he has worked with and respected over the years including Simon Bartholomew (Brand New Heavies), The Prisoners, New Jersey Kings and The Apostles. That year also saw James touring the UK and Europe to support the release of MOBO-nominaa new live album by the band released in May. It also saw James sign to a new label GUT Records, to begin the next phase of the adventure. The autumn of 1999 saw James featuring on the Tom Jones duets album with which they performed together on the National Lottery Show.
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