JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET (JTQ)
In a career that has embraced jazz, soul, rock, funk and often tipped its hat to classic detective and action movie soundtracks, JTQ delivered their own filmic moment in 1997, contributing ‘Austin’s Theme’ to the score album for ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.’
In 2007, the band completed their full-scale Motown tribute, ‘Don’t Mess With Mr. T,’ featuring guest vocalists Omar, Hil St. Soul and Donna Gardier. The same year brought both the spinoff project James Taylor’s 4th Dimension and a Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Award nomination for JTQ.
That attraction to film music is deep-rooted in Taylor, who still marvels at such timeless images as the opening scene in ‘The Italian Job,’ where an Alfa Spider speeds through the Italian Alps to the accompaniment of Quincy Jones. “It’s the excitement of dealing with music that creates that sort of luxurious feeling.” he says. “And I find I don’t need to go to the ltalian Alps to do it.”
So let’s hear it for a band well past their first quarter-century but still finding new challenges to meet, new peaks to climb. 2017 is looking like another vintage JTQ year. “What interests me at the moment is combining those two disparate directions of jazz and classical music,” enthuses Taylor, “because there is a point at which they meet, and exploiting that creates such an excitement on stage. There’s something to kick against.”
The ensuing quarter-century has produced a bulging catalogue of remarkable albums and show-stopping gigs that continue to see JTQ in hot demand everywhere from Ronnie Scott’s to Rome.