James Taylor Quartet
‘The Template' marks the coming of age of Hammond master James Taylor as he enters his 25th year at the forefront of the world jazz funk scene.
His band, The James Taylor Quartet are an act that have toured world-wide consistently since their launch in 1986 developing a large following and in the process opening doors for many other British acts, and becoming a by-word for integrity, musicianship, showmanship and bankability.
A remarkable achievement for an act that defies mainstream categorisation and which operates in a thoroughly independent and autonomous way. This album reflects the intensity of their highly acclaimed live shows with the opening cinematic style title track ‘The Template', a tune which crystallises the best of British TV and film music and then seriously switches on the heat.
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 album never lets up the intensity with subtle and yet powerfully dynamic musicianship.
The gentle ballad ‘Autumn River' which draws the listener into Debussy style images, juxtaposes starkly yet remarkably easily alongside funk workouts such as ‘Pressure Gauge' which struts and swaggers with blistering affect.
Turrell's vocal features on several other tunes, taking the band into Isley's territory with the soulful ‘Why cant we get along' and the Roy Ayers inspired ‘Light up your soul' this is UK funk, drawing from the American stuff but contemporising it with thoroughly modern British grit.
There's nothing clean about this music, totally recorded and mixed live onto tape in an analogue studio in Taylor's home town of Rochester.
This Album is both an unashamed two fingers to - and an antidote for - the ultra-processed, ultra-dead anaemic clinical digital recording era that we are currently suffering.
In this Album, The James Taylor Quartet offer a way forward onto the sunlit uplands, based on real craftsmanship and quality, A template...... The Template, UK's finest, The original and still the best.
- 1997 soundtrack for Austin Powers (with Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley)
- 1998 the album Whole Lotta Live was nominated for the "MOBO Award" (Music of Black Origin)
- 1999 performance on Tom Jones‘ album Reload
- 2007 Ronnie Scott's Jazz Award nomination
James Taylor also performed on albums from U2, Iain Dury, Soul II Soul, Manic Street Preachers, The Pogues
James Taylor is the best Hammond player this side of the Atlantic
Craig Charles BBC6 FUNK AND SOUL SHOW (2011)
James Taylor is one of the all-time great Hammond players
Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers, NME (2011)
Never less than an impressive demonstration of virtuosity
Andrew Mueller, Uncut (2011)
James Taylor keeps it swinging, fun and unpretentious
Andy Robson, Jazzwise (2011)
Taylor's organ sound first sears the ears and then goes straight to the feet
Garry Booth, BBC Music Magazine (2011)
Taylor is one of our finest jazz organists... A musician who has forged his own path... His playing is snappy and crisp...
David Lands, Jazz Journal (2011)
James is always an innovator, a great musician and friend
Nitin Sawhney (2011)