The James Taylor Quartet [Funky Acid Jazz] * TUESDAY *
7:30pm (General Admission)
Performance 8-10pm (with interval)
Seating is reserved for diners only
We will be serving our Skylight Express menu for this event – click here to view menu
The James Taylor Quartet
“James Taylor is the best Hammond player this side of the Atlantic” – Craig Charles BBC6 FUNK AND SOUL SHOW
“Never less than an impressive demonstration of virtuosity” – Andrew Mueller, Uncut
James Taylor, one of the great British instrumentalists of his generation, has taken his trademark howling Hammond sound to the masses for over 25 years; still famed for its upbeat, energetic live shows…with no sign of slowing down. The band’s relentlessly entertaining tunes take inspiration from the rare-groove style funk, and boogaloo funk of the 60s and 70s and the band is, without a doubt, one of the most important jazz-pop crossover outfits in British live musical history today.
After the collapse of mod legends The Prisoners in the 1980s, and before moving to Sweden, James recorded some demos with brother David on guitar, the bass player from The Prisoners, and a drummer from down the road… and thus The James Taylor Quartet was born. From tiny acorns mighty oaks do indeed grow, and it wasn’t long before the first single, Blow Up, had been released, the band was in the studio rehearsing for the Mission Impossible EP, gigs were booked, and the late great John Peel was offering a session.
Skip forward 25 years and JTQ has evolved into one of the most exciting and well respected touring bands in the UK. With numerous albums to its name, the band’s recorded output is not to be scoffed at. ‘Prolific’ is an understatement, with albums touching genres as diverse as jazz, funk, soul, rock, and even rap, not to mention a handful of library albums in between. Each album is an absolute must for any Hammond fan: James’ playing provides a solid and accomplished lead as always. Live, the band is explosive, with a breathtaking, diverse unmatched back catalogue.
JTQ’s fired-up signature tune, The Theme from Starsky and Hutch, cemented its reputation as a master of the jazz-funk-r’n’b workout; 60s spy themes, psychedelic, and free-form jazz all added something to the band’s distinctive sound. Originally playing the Hammond B3 organ in the UK mod revival band The Prisoners, James Taylor formed his own quartet 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 JTQ found itself at the forefront of a vibrant young club scene. The first single, Blow-Up, was released on the Re Elect The President label, a precursor to Acid Jazz. The band’s debut album, Mission Impossible, was released the following year, predominantly consisting of covers of 60s film themes such as Alfie, Mrs Robinson and Goldfinger. In the early 1990s, the single Love The Life reached the Top 40, and the accompanying album, Supernatural Feeling, settled in the Top 30 UK charts. After releases on Polydor and Big Life Records, JTQ returned to Acid Jazz, and In The Hand of The Inevitable remains the label’s biggest selling album to date.
In 1997 James had the chance to fulfill a dream when he was asked to score the theme tune to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, the spy spoof starring Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley. JTQ’s Whole Lotta Live album was nominated for a MOBO award in 1998, and the following year James featured on Tom Jones’ duet’s album, Reload. James’ musical talent has been admired by numerous other acts: The Wonderstuff, Manic Street Preachers, The Pogues and U2 have all featured James and his distinctive Hammond sound on their albums.
“James Taylor..one of the all-time great Hammond players” – Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers, NME
“Taylor’s organ sound first sears the ears and then goes straight to the feet” – Garry Booth, BBC Music Magazine
“Taylor is one of our finest jazz organists… A musician who has forged his own path… His playing is snappy and crisp…” – David Lands, Jazz Journal
Ticket and Venue information:
- General Admission (main area) – these tickets are for our designated standing area: please be mindful of obstructing the view of seated ticket holders
- Dining (main seating area) – You can request to be seated in ‘Billie’ (front of stage), ‘Dizzy’ (raked theatre), ‘Mingus’ (near piano) or ‘Duke’ (side wall). Whilst we can guarantee that you will have a table, we cannot guarantee exactly where, as we do our best to fulfil all customers requirements
- Dining (Ella/Satchmo seating area) – you can request to be seated in ‘Ella’ (by the fireplace) or ‘Satchmo’ (by the windows). Please note, a few of these seats have a restricted view
- Dining tickets come with table service throughout the night and the ability to dine with us should you choose
- If you are hoping to combine bookings or join an existing booking then please let us know in advance as we cannot guarantee that changes to our table plan will be possible on the night
- You can view a seating plan here
SPECIAL ACCESS NEEDS
- Please email email@example.com to reserve a suitable seat for you and your party
- We have an accessible toilet on the ground floor