James Taylor In-depth Biography
Reportedly the band whose music coined the term acid jazz} (when a British journalist struggled to describe it), the James Taylor Quartet} has explored spy}-soundtrack} soul-jazz} and funk} since the group's beginnings in the mid-'80s. Originally playing the Hammond B-3 organ in the U.K. mod revival} band the Prisoners}, James Taylor} formed his own jazz} 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 the James Taylor Quartet} found itself at the forefront of a vibrant young club scene, even though Taylor} was a decade-long veteran by that time.
The Prisoners} had emerged from Kent in 1982, and released two albums, A Taste of Pink} and The Wisermiserdemelza}, before Taylor} quit in the mid-'80s (the group imploded after just one more studio album). Taylor} quickly formed a quartet around ex-Prisoner} Allan Crockford} on bass, drummer Simon Howard}, and James}' own brother David} on guitar.
The James Taylor Quartet} recorded for several small labels during 1985, but a 1986 session for Radio 1} DJ John Peel} got the group signed to Re-Elect the President Records}, which released a 1987 mini-LP of covers, Mission Impossible}. After The Money Spyder} appeared that same year, the James Taylor Quartet} moved to Urban}/Polydor} for 1988's Wait a Minute}. Not long after, however, Howard} and Crockford} left to play with another ex-Prisoner}, Graham Day}, in the Prime Movers}. Now just a duo, James} and David} began recruiting studio musicians to fill in the instrumental gaps from album to album, later building the band up to a sextet (though the name stayed the same) with John Willmott} on saxophone and flute, bassist Gary Crockett}, drummer Neil Robinson}, and trumpeter Dominick Glover}. A contract with Acid Jazz Records} resulted in increased American distribution through Hollywood Records}, which reissued Mission Impossible} and The Money Spyder} as well as the group's 1995 album In the Hand of the Inevitable}. The Penthouse Suite} and (A Few Useful Tips About) Living Underground} both followed in 2000. Bigger Picture} was issued earlier the next year. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide