Always great work from the mighty James Taylor, one of the few artists who's kept his groove going for over a 20 year period. Back in the 80s, Taylor first caught our ear as a new organist playing with a classic 60s Hammond sound - funky, soulful, and right on the money - and all these many years later, James is still very much at the top of his game, able to handle a Hammond with a flair that few other players can match
-Dusty Groove America
JTQ’s fired-up signature tune, The Theme from Starsky and Hutch, cemented the band’s reputation as masters 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 in 1985, 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 - a funked-up version of Herbie Hancock's theme from the seminal 60s film of the same name - was released in 1985 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.
James Taylor’s trademark howling Hammond sound is featured to fine effect on his new album, Don’t Mess With Mr T: James Taylor Quartet Plays Motown, a storming set of Motown covers. The band’s previous album, A Taste of Cherry, was released in September 2006. A new outfit, James Taylor’s 4th Dimension, recently released Picking Up Where We Left Off, to critical acclaim.