We started the year with a little bit of James Taylor and as we wind toward the end of the year, we’re getting a little more James Taylor. The only difference is that this James Taylor is completely different from the singer-songwriter you may be familiar with. Instead of making his way in the music business with a guitar and some songs, today’s James Taylor comes armed with a Hammond Organ and a backing band bearing his name. Neither are the former lead singer from Kool and the Gang, also named James Taylor, but that’s neither here nor there.
What is here is a pioneer in the acid jazz genre. The JTQ got their start by covering lots of movie theme songs, including Herbie Hancock’s theme from “Blow Up”, Cher’s “Alfie”, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and Shirley Bassey’s theme from “Goldfinger”. Inherent in their music was a different sort of sound that fused several different influences together into the style that would become known as acid jazz. More often than not, acid jazz seems to encompass a world of similar-sounding music that doesn’t quite neatly fit into any particular genre, but sort of touches on a few; typically jazz, funk, soul, disco, R&B and hip-hop.
Eventually, the acid jazz genre grew up and the JTQ branched out into their own original material, including “In the Hand of the Inevitable” and “Austin’s Theme” from the soundtrack to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
In the Hand of the Inevitable – The James Taylor Quartet