2008 sees the 20th Anniversary of the Acid Jazz label – still headed up by its founder Ed Piller – and BGP Records are proud to be involved in this landmark event too. In fact BGP is celebrating our 21st Birthday this year. In the last 12 months we have carefully repackaged some of the most influential items in the Acid Jazz catalogue, landmarks in UK soul and funk such as the Brand New Heavies debut album, and the first ever collection of Snowboy’s legendary singles. As our first release of this year we are pleased to bring to you an extended version of The James Taylor Quartet’s biggest selling and best album IN THE HAND OF THE INEVITABLE.
The James Taylor Quartet had started life as a mod jazz organ combo, who soon embraced funkier elements to become the founding fathers of the acid jazz movement with their three albums on Polydor’s Urban label and their anthemic singles Starsky And Hutch and Love The Life. When they were eventually contracted to Acid Jazz in late 1993 it was the label’s biggest ever signing. The record they were to make was to be a panoramic overview of the UK soul/jazz funk scene, with James Taylor not just the musical driving force, but the ringmaster of a coming together of some of the finest British soul musicians.
The album took nearly a year to record and when it was delivered featured an incredible array of music. From sweet soul, through Lonnie Liston Smith-style fusion grooves to hard funk organ, all under one roof. A masterpiece, it was anchored around a trio of exceptional soul songs – Love Will Keep Us Together, Good Thing and Stepping Into My Life, all featuring the vocals of Alison Limerick. So much music was recorded that four tracks appeared only on “The Extended Play” mini LP led off with Stepping Into My Life that are reunited with the original album for the first time on this CD.
The lead single Love Will Keep Us Together was a Top 75 hit, and the album went on to sell 200,000 copies worldwide, but its afterlife was as gratifying. The tracks that Taylor keeps in his live set from the LP are always greeted rapturously and both Love Will Keep Us… and Stepping… are genuine floor fillers at modern soul rooms in the UK and beyond. It is with this in mind that we present a wonderful album remastered to sound better than it ever has before, plus all of the music from the album sessions.
By Dean Rudland