The James Taylor Quartet live in Milan

In a previous life, I was not an academic, but a professional musician. After leaving Uni, like many of my Geordie peers, I moved to London in the  hope to make a living as a musician. After working freelance for a number of years in countless bands and situations (some of which were not particularly glamorous) – I landed the gig in the James Taylor Quartet. At the time ‘Acid Jazz’ was just starting out – and I found it amazing that this ‘young peoples’  music resonated so strongly with much of the music my Dad actually listened to – Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff in particular.  At that time the band was in transition, moving to a more ‘polished’ sound – if that’s the right word. I had (and still do) so much respect for Jamie (James Taylor) as a musician. At the time, he was in his early 20s – but boy could he play. The band also featured Steve White on drums – who again was (and is) such a good player. During the later part of the 80s – this band done a lot of touring, and it was always a bit of a disappointment to me that we were not recorded live. The studio recordings capture the band to a certain extent – but not completely. Well – out of the blue – someone forwarded me a bootleg concert that we recorded in Milan in 1989 – the last date of a European Tour (the first of several that year) – that ended with a week in Milan.  Although the quality of this recording is very poor – it does capture something that the professional quality recordings don’t – ENERGY. Oddly enough, I am actually writing a book chapter on the creative processes this band employed when composing in particular (something I started a few years back) – so this recording is actually really good data. Enjoy the first 9 tracks!


About Paul Carr

Academic working at the University of Glamorgan
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