james tayor (no, the good james taylor)

[Part four of the New Music from the Past 30 Years series]

I’ve never been into questions or observations of one’s masculinity. You know, comments like “you throw like a girl” or “you’re drinking a cosmo? that’s a lady’s drink.” Just not my style of humor (or whatever).

However, whenever I hear anyone talk about James Taylor, I immediately think of this…

James Taylor is just so wimpy, that it transcends gender. I bet girls routinely beat him up for his lunch money on the school ground.

Fortunately, there is another James Taylor. A better James Taylor. A faster James Taylor. And, in my opinion, a much better musician James Taylor.

The James Taylor Quartet.

JTQ (as they’re known by their fan base) have been putting out excellent keyboard-driven, 70s-inspired instrumental soul, funk and jazz for over 23 years. Fronted by Taylor on Hammond organ, the British quartet has over 20 albums to their credit and have contributed music to films like Austin Powers and Starsky and Hutch.

In the early 90s, my second oldest brother was listening to a lot of funk & R&B – like Prince, Funk, Inc., P-Funk, etc. Somehow he came across JTQ’s Get Organized, and the disc rarely left the tray for a few weeks there. From there, we branched out and picked up several more of their albums.

One of the reasons I selected this band to write about is that though there is a pretty large catalog of soul – much of it better known than JTQ – there aren’t a whole lot of instrumental funk groups in the forefront right now. Any music you hear like that is usually being spun by DJs.

JTQ plays the music and is the real deal. And though I haven’t had a chance to see them live, their show is well-known in England as being a must-see. I’m hoping I’ll someday get my chance.

Until then, here’s a live clip of JTQ playing “JTQ Theme”…


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