San Francisco Bay Area quartet Times 4 finely tunes its compositional prowess on Eclipse
. Sparked by snappy pulses, and memorable hooks, the unit attains an attractive balance between radio-friendly jazz and several instances of serious-minded improvisation. At times strutting its stuff, the quartet imparts a stylistic up-tempo rendition of sax great John Coltrane
's timeless classic, "Naima."
Times 4 transforms "Naima" into a peppery groove-centric piece that is not overly-technical or way out of line. Here, saxophonist Lincoln Adler
's notes take on vocal attributes atop keyboardist Greg Sankovich
's organ treatments and resonating electric piano phrasings. Although the band renders a less austere version of Trane's masterpiece, it keenly sustains the probing melody and core framework, expanding the piece via solos during the bridge, while drummer Maurice Miles lays out a quiet funk-rock pattern to close it out. Times 4 translucently merges contemporary jazz with a touch of virulence and soul.