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This very special live show follows the release of ‘Soundtrack from Electric Black’ For the past 30 years, the James Taylor Quartet has set the standard for the coolest sounds in funky acid jazz. On dozens of mighty albums and at their legendary gigs at home and around the world, they’ve quietly become a byword for distinguished British creativity. ‘Soundtrack from Electric Black’ is, however, the culmination of over thirty years of holding onto a musical vision that has developed within Taylor since he was a small child growing up in 1970s Britain.

This vision began to find expression with the JTQ’s debut album ‘Mission Impossible’ and, since then, relentlessly gigging, recording, listening, studying and composing tunes with a view to raising the bar in the UK music scene.

Taking his inspiration from the truly great film composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones and John Barry, Taylor wanted to make exciting, cinematic orchestral music.

Taylor has always lamented never being able to convince a record label to fully commit to making the record he always wanted to make – or, more accurately, needed to make: “Labels would usually go halfway, give me some budget for a big horn section or a decent studio. But I guess, ultimately, they didn’t share my vision, so the record never got made - until now.” Realising it takes a substantial musical education to create orchestral music, Taylor applied to study composition and orchestration at various music colleges but was rejected. As a result,
to familiarise himself with how musical scores look and work, he joined a local choir. Taylor eventually gained the confidence to compose and score out his own Mass using a four part choir, which led to composing for string quartets and, finally, full orchestral scores. Now armed with the creative tools, Taylor needed to find the money to fulfil his lifelong musical ambition.

Having increasingly been making production music albums for various major labels, Taylor began to notice Audio Network - a global music company working in partnership with known and emerging artists to market and release their music across digital service providers as well as providing an opportunity in music for video. Audio Network gives artists the freedom to create the music they love, and then provides exposure to a large global customer base all backed by significant investment and support from a skilled music and production team. “Audio Network are one of the biggest bookers of Abbey Road studios and of orchestras and
live musicians in the country, so I set about persuading them to let me record this album for them with a full orchestra in Abbey Rd Studio Two, The Beatles Studio,” explains Taylor. “This was a big ask, but ultimately Audio Network have been very supportive.” ‘Soundtrack from Electric Black’ was originally intended for production use only, but the vibe in the studio was ecstatic. Taylor says, “At the end of the session the orchestra applauded the compositions, which took Audio Network by surprise – me too! One of Abbey Road’s engineers said it was the best thing he’d recorded there in 20 years.” With that, enthusiasm began to grow within Audio Network to put ‘Soundtrack from Electric Black’ forward for a proper commercial release.

Such a decision increases Taylor’s senses that the commercial music business as he knows it is becoming more aligned with music for video. He said, “Audio Network are pulling the cream of the British jazz scene together - Tim Garland and Jason Rebello, for example - and getting them to write and record together in a kind of family way like how classic old labels such as Motown and Stax used to. It feels very fresh and exciting.” Taylor says the last time saw so many big names under the same roof was at the start of the Acid Jazz boom in 1989, when Polydor Records started signing all the main players. “It feels like the real creative powerbase in the British music scene has relocated, and there is a healthy vibrant energy rising Phoenix-like from the ashes of the old music biz – and from the
production music, of all places.”

It’s this shift which has finally allowed Taylor to compose, orchestrate, record and release commercially ‘Soundtrack from Electric Black’, which, Taylor says “wouldn’t get past the front door of the average major label, which is good news for British music.

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