JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET

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Biography

Ubiquity Records is proud to announce the latest member of our family: the James Taylor Quartet. Fans of British soul-jazz will immediately recognize JTQ as leading lights in the Hammond B3, mod, rare groove & soul-jazz scenes for the past 15 years.

Message From The Godfather (released in the USA on August 21st, 2001) is their first new recording for a US label and sees a return to the raw & funky BBQ jazz sound of influential organ legends such as Johnny ?Hammond? Smith, Jimmy Smith and Groove Holmes. The release comes at a time when a massive rare groove revival is being championed in the USA by the likes of Breakestra (Stones Throw), and the Poets of Rhythm (Quannum) - indie-label bands with a large raw funk sound packing houses across America.

Produced by labelmate Snowboy, this is a hard-driving B3 Hammond album boasting a healthy dose of funk, soul, jazz, and ?mod?ernist tinges proving that JTQ still have one foot planted firmly in the now and the other, just as firmly, somewhere south of 1970.

JTQ was born from the ashes of infamous mod band The Prisoners in 1985, who disbanded after their label, Stiff Records declared bankruptcy. JTQ singed a deal with the tiny Re-Elect the President label (which would evolve into the Acid Jazz label). Their first single ?Blow Up? was a huge success, capturing the attention of John Peel who championed the band on his weekly radio on BBC Radio. The track appeared three years running on Peel?s seminal Festival 50 chart. After an impressive 13 weeks on the Indie Singles Chart, the band set to work on their debut EP titled Mission Impossible. The EP was released in 1986 and featured Taylor?s interpretations of sixties film themes such as ?Mission Impossible,? ?Goldfinger,? and ?Mrs. Robinson.? The bands popularity was on the rise when they set out to record the follow-up and first full length The Money Spyder. Released in 1987, the album won critical accliam and landed them a deal with Polydor records.

JTQ went on to release three full-lengths (Wait a Minute - 1988, Get Organised - 1989, and Do Your Own Thing - 1990) and a number of singles for Polydor and it?s subidiary Big Life. They also released a live album Absolute in 1991 which featured Rose Windross of Soul II Soul and Noel McKoy who went on to become the Quartet?s lead vocalist for the follow up album Supernatural Feeling (1993). That year alone, JTQ performed over one hundred and fifty shows in 15 countries, including Thailand, Japan, and America. The band?s constant touring and their emphasis on live ?dance? music has been the key to their success, enabling them to establish a solid relationship between them and their fans.

In 1994, the band made the decision to go full circle and rejoin Eddie Piller?s independent label Acid Jazz Records. His first album for the label, In the Hand of the Inevitable went on to sell a whopping 200,000 copies! In 1996, American major label Hollywood Records struck a deal with Acid Jazz Records and for the first time James Taylor Quartet albums (including re-issues of early Re-Elect the President material) were made available for the first time in the United States. Also released was the retrospective BBC Radio Sessions LP, the return-to-funk jazz burner Living Underground and the critically acclaimed Creation album.

In 1997 Taylor was asked to score a piece for the smash-film Austin Powers and James? own independent label JTI was established. It?s debut release was a compilation album of various artists he has worked with and respected over the years, includung The Prisoners, New Jersey Kings, and The Apostles. In 1999, the band released one album with Gut Records, A Bigger Picture which mixed their unique brand of funk with a more polished and ?clubby? production.

2000 was just as turbo-charged as the rest of JTQ?s history. In support of A Bigger Picture, JTQ toured Europe covering Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece and Scandinavia as well as making their regular European festival appearances. A limited edition 7" vinyl single was released on "Blow It Hard" Records in September, selling out in the first week. A new LP Swinging London, a collection of rare & unissued early tracks, was released on Strange Fruit in November followed by a UK tour. At the end of the year JTQ became the 1st international artist to perform in Belgrade post-Milosovic and they ended the year with a six night sold-out Christmas residency at the Jazz Caf? in London.