12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-1980s, British Hammond organist James Taylor — sadly and forever to be known as “not that James Taylor” — revolted against the more synthetic sounds of the day and helped usher in the acid-jazz movement and its experiments involving soul jazz, rare-groove funk, and the beats being created by budding hip-hop DJs. More than 20 years later, Taylor sounds rejuvenated alongside his new 4th Dimension band, offering a dozen original compositions that manage to find some of the old spark. With an organ tone that’s not as grainy as that of many other Hammond players, Taylor’s musical blend tends to be sprightly and liquefied, as opposed to earthy and dense. That’s not to say he doesn’t dig emphatically into classic funk-jazz territory, which he does ably on scorching tracks like “Boot Up,” “Easy Time” (with terrific guitar work by Nigel Price), “Dead Leg,” and “SpecialPlusExtra,” as well as more laid-back grooves like the New Orleans-flavored “French Quarter Strut” and the sashaying “Mincemeat.” Elsewhere, however, he gently embraces the ballad “Never in My Wildest Dreams” and dances atop the breezy title track, two songs that feel like reinventions of lost ‘60s pop tunes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-1980s, British Hammond organist James Taylor — sadly and forever to be known as “not that James Taylor” — revolted against the more synthetic sounds of the day and helped usher in the acid-jazz movement and its experiments involving soul jazz, rare-groove funk, and the beats being created by budding hip-hop DJs. More than 20 years later, Taylor sounds rejuvenated alongside his new 4th Dimension band, offering a dozen original compositions that manage to find some of the old spark. With an organ tone that’s not as grainy as that of many other Hammond players, Taylor’s musical blend tends to be sprightly and liquefied, as opposed to earthy and dense. That’s not to say he doesn’t dig emphatically into classic funk-jazz territory, which he does ably on scorching tracks like “Boot Up,” “Easy Time” (with terrific guitar work by Nigel Price), “Dead Leg,” and “SpecialPlusExtra,” as well as more laid-back grooves like the New Orleans-flavored “French Quarter Strut” and the sashaying “Mincemeat.” Elsewhere, however, he gently embraces the ballad “Never in My Wildest Dreams” and dances atop the breezy title track, two songs that feel like reinventions of lost ‘60s pop tunes.

TITLE TIME
5:00
4:00
4:02
3:25
4:09
2:46
3:03
5:13
3:14
4:02
3:33
2:59

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