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Quartet a hit despite low turn out

PUBLISHED: 13:55 18 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:57 03 March 2010

JTQ at Ipswich Corn Exchange



THEY jazzed, they funked and they grooved as only they know how.

The James Taylor Quartet are without doubt the masters of acid jazz.

JTQ at Ipswich Corn Exchange

THEY jazzed, they funked and they grooved as only they know how.

The James Taylor Quartet are without doubt the masters of acid jazz.

Last night at the Corn Exchange they faced a tough audience, not in appreciation but in numbers.

But even though they were playing to a hall only a quarter full (and that may be generous) they made it seem as though the room was packed to the rafters and those that were there loved them for it.

Starting off with their newest material they worked their way back through the catalogue of tunes that have gained them a huge and ardent following in the past decade and a half.

Blow Up, Love The Life, Starsky & Hutch and their own take on The Doors' Light My Fire, which makes Will Young's forthcoming version sound dismal in comparison, were just a handful of the tunes that were played out with passion, energy and flair.

James' played his Hammond with a skill and style that would have any pretender to keyboard playing quaking in his or her boots. Meanwhile Gary, Neil and Dave, who complete the quartet, more than matched him on bass, drums and guitar.

Four became six, as trumpeter and saxophonist joined the line up, and then six became seven with the arrival of powerful voiced singer Yani.

The resulting sound from the seven-piece quartet could not help but get the audience on its feet.

It may have been a challenge to get the Ipswich crowd off their bums, and the tables and chairs laid out in the room did little to help, but with some forceful encouragement the town's JTQ fans gradually moved up to the stage to dance.

And once they were up there was no stopping them as they enthusiastically sang and clapped on command, doing all they could to make up for the fact that there wasn't more of them.

This was JTQ's first visit to Ipswich and it was a shame that more people had not made the effort to check them out.

They may not be chart toppers, heard on Radio 1 week in week out or getting their faces in the media all the time, but they are without doubt some of the grooviest guys around.

Ipswich should hope they come back and if and when they do let's hope that they are greeted by the hundreds of fans they deserve.

Jo Macdonald


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