James Taylor Quartet

James Taylor Quartet (Roxy; 450 capacity; $ 15) Presented by Goldenvoice. Band: Taylor, Neil Robinson, Gary Crockett, Graham Day, Dominic Glover, John Wilmott. Reviewed Aug. 27, 1996. Disney's revamped imprint Hollywood Records is the first domestic label, with any distribution mettle, to jump on Britain's decade-old "acid jazz" movement and the James Taylor Quartet is the mantelpiece for the label's foray. The tie-in is a logical one as the JTQ, augmented here by two horn players, has long been associated with revved up versions of movie themes, most notably, Lalo Schifrin's "Mission: Impossible" theme. But the bulk of the JTQ's instrumental groove, driven by Taylor's furious Hammond organ work, stems from an intersection of obscure '70s motifs: horn-driven rock of bands such as Osibisa; the boogaloo jazz of Lou Donaldson; Traffic's "Glad"; and blaxploitation soundtracks that didn't have the benefit of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye or Isaac Hayes. Billed at times as an update of Booker T. and the MGs, Taylor's group has virtually nothing in common with the Memphis soulsters beyond instrumentation; this sound is far brasher and rabid, powered by Neil Robinson's rock-solid and emphatic drumming. It's music to grind by for hipsters attracted to jazz's rhythmic drive and sleek image, yet put off by its artier abstractions. Band began its first North American tour Sunday in San Diego and the thrill of discovery between artist and audience soaked the packed Roxy. This brand of "acid jazz" emphasizes unity in the performance rather than solo improvisatory skills.The next James Taylor Quartet disc, "A Few Useful Tips About Living Underground," is on Hollywood's January slate, the first opportunity to mine its distrib arrangement with the Acid Jazz label beyond being a reissue source. More than most bands out of this Brit underground scene -- and they've proven it over three albums -- the JTQ has the chops and melodic sense to put instrumental music back on the pop charts.

James Taylor Quartet (Roxy; 450 capacity; $ 15) Presented by Goldenvoice. Band: Taylor, Neil Robinson, Gary Crockett, Graham Day, Dominic Glover, John Wilmott. Reviewed Aug. 27, 1996. Disney’s revamped imprint Hollywood Records is the first domestic label, with any distribution mettle, to jump on Britain’s decade-old “acid jazz” movement and the James Taylor Quartet is the mantelpiece for the label’s foray. The tie-in is a logical one as the JTQ, augmented here by two horn players, has long been associated with revved up versions of movie themes, most notably, Lalo Schifrin’s “Mission: Impossible” theme. But the bulk of the JTQ’s instrumental groove, driven by Taylor’s furious Hammond organ work, stems from an intersection of obscure ’70s motifs: horn-driven rock of bands such as Osibisa; the boogaloo jazz of Lou Donaldson; Traffic’s “Glad”; and blaxploitation soundtracks that didn’t have the benefit of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye or Isaac Hayes. Billed at times as an update of Booker T. and the MGs, Taylor’s group has virtually nothing in common with the Memphis soulsters beyond instrumentation; this sound is far brasher and rabid, powered by Neil Robinson’s rock-solid and emphatic drumming. It’s music to grind by for hipsters attracted to jazz’s rhythmic drive and sleek image, yet put off by its artier abstractions. Band began its first North American tour Sunday in San Diego and the thrill of discovery between artist and audience soaked the packed Roxy. This brand of “acid jazz” emphasizes unity in the performance rather than solo improvisatory skills.The next James Taylor Quartet disc, “A Few Useful Tips About Living Underground,” is on Hollywood’s January slate, the first opportunity to mine its distrib arrangement with the Acid Jazz label beyond being a reissue source. More than most bands out of this Brit underground scene — and they’ve proven it over three albums — the JTQ has the chops and melodic sense to put instrumental music back on the pop charts.

James Taylor Quartet

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