James Taylor Quartet

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: James Taylor Quartet
LABELS: Real Self Records
ALBUM TITLE: James Taylor Quartet
WORKS: Live at the Jazz Café
PERFORMER: James Taylor (organ), Nigel Price (guitar), Andy McKinney (bass), Adam Betts (drums), Nick Smart (trumpet)


In the 1980s, if a James Taylor Quartet track was played in a club, it was guaranteed to generate interest. Indeed, these retro film-tinged organ grooves, borrowing from Lalo Schifrin and sounding like rare-groover Sonny Burke, helped launch the ‘Acid Jazz’ label and genre. The best way to experience JTQ is live, and this disc, recorded at Camden’s Jazz Café last year, is a treat. The crowd can be distracting but it shows what JTQ is all about: they’ve replaced ’90s high gloss with the raw, real deal. Typical is their first single, a version of ‘Blow Up’ in which Hammond organ sustains explode over a runaway groove. It all goes to prove why they were acceptable in the ’80s – and still are today. Neil McKim