James Taylor Quartet, Man in the Hot Seat, Audio Network ****

Ten very succinct and persuasive tracks each less than four minutes long that luxuriate in a coherent spy noir type film feel, think John Barry on The Ipcress File as one jumping off point, and you are immediately in the world of this very fine …

Published: 13 Aug 2022. Updated: 3 months.

Ten very succinct and persuasive tracks each less than four minutes long that luxuriate in a coherent spy noir type film feel, think John Barry on The Ipcress File as one jumping off point, and you are immediately in the world of this very fine record.

Lushly orchestrated with strings, recorded at Abbey Road, and peppered through with the enduringly compelling Taylor Hammond B3 soul jazz touches. Andrew McKinney is on bass guitar, Mark Cox, guitar, Pat Illingworth, drums. For breakaway Hammond (but the album isn't simply about that) go for 'The Gravedigger' and disinter Dave Bishop's storming baritone sax part into the bargain. 'Don't Mess With the Champ' is the best arranged track and features flautist Gareth Lockrane and certainly romps like a mutha. UK jazz trombone legend Mark Nightingale is among the soloists on the title track.

The album also includes a new version of 1990s favourite 'The Money Spyder.'

Top of the tree JTQ that moves the sound beyond the usual stomping ground that you'd expect from this seminal acid jazz outfit in its most up to date guise with knobs on. One of its most definitive statements even all these years on given the mega production values and realised scale of the conceptual vision. Roogalating Medway monster of a player Taylor steeped in the music of Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff contributes not only organ and piano but zither, celesta, tubular bells, keyboards, harp, theremin and the orchestrations.

Man in the Hot Seat is in our top UK jazz albums of the year so far

September gigs include Exeter at the Northcott on the 14th and Oxford in the Playhouse next night

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Kokoroko go straight to number 1 in latest official UK jazz and blues chart

Kokoroko are the biggest selling jazz act in the UK charts at the moment. Their debut album Could We Be More in its first week in the chart climbed to the top in the new chart announced last night. Read a review of the Brownswood album here Also see …

Published: 13 Aug 2022. Updated: 3 months.

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Kokoroko are the biggest selling jazz act in the UK charts at the moment.

Their debut album Could We Be More in its first week in the chart climbed to the top in the new chart announced last night.

Read a review of the Brownswood album here

Also see our albums of the year so far - Could We Be More is in our top 10