Acid-jazz revivalist returns

A frequent touring act here in recent years, the James Taylor Quartet is set to storm into town for another night of its fast and frantic «acid-jazz» musical adventures at the Rodon Club in Athens this Saturday. Back with a new album, «Room at the Top,» the James Taylor Quartet, one of the more dazzling combos to have appeared on the local concert circuit, should once again generated action-packed sounds, the type associated with chase scenes in American cop flicks of the 1970s. Frontman Taylor, a master of the acid-jazz style’s signature instrument, the Hammond organ, grew up an addicted viewer of that era’s «Starsky and Hutch» TV series, absorbing both the screen action and the music. Taylor, however, has rejected acid-jazz as a term for his act’s style. The term was coined by a British journalist to define the band’s sound when it emerged with 1987’s debut album «Mission Impossible.» An entire acid-jazz scene was created with similar-minded acts such as Corduroy and the Brand New Heavies. «Rude, hard funk – like all the Blaxploitation movies and cop shows – that’s what we’re aiming for… Really, instead of calling our music ‘acid-jazz,’ it’s more accurate to call it ‘cop funk.’ Yes that’s it – we’re cop funk,» Taylor remarked in an old interview. The acid-jazz scene’s popularity peaked early last decade as a revitalization of the soul-funk-jazz fusion that typified Afro-American music in the early 1970s.

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