REVIEW: James Taylor Quarter – A Bigger Picture

The James Taylor Quartet never fail to deliver the goods. Since branching out in the late 80’s with a unique brand of soundtrack mixed with jazz, funk and blues covers plus the odd original piece they are at the top of their tree. A Bigger Picture is a polished product compared to their earlier brash material, now released by Demon Music Group on 180g heavyweight purple vinyl for a 20th anniversary release sees fit for a re-evaluation.

The twelfth release by the band sees a continuality of funk, soul, jazz and rare groove in their repertoire brought to life by superb arrangements with the inclusion of soul singer Yvonne Yaney plus a sprinkling of magic from the legendary vibes man Roy Ayers who lends a hand on the opening track Leads Me Back To You.

Bobby Womack’s TKO is given a fresh lick of funk with Yaney’s smooth vocals gliding over the backbeat. As with any JTQ release the rhythm section are without any flaws, similar in their appeal as are Booker T and The M.G.’s with a touch of Meters funk. Chasing Dragons is a synth smash and grab, similar in the effectiveness of Corduroy but with an added splash of flute and trumpet solos taken care of by John Willmott and  Don Glover. Equal amounts of synth love are shared on First Time and Change Your Mind.

With further 70’s action packed KPM style tracks, these cuts are nuances in the best form. The question is; where do you start and when do you decide to finish listening to product with such an adoring quality as the JTQ back catalogue. The answer is; ask Jack Carter.

Demon Music Group can be found via their own website.