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Times 4

The first time the members of Times 4 got together to play, says keyboardist Greg Sankovich, “We just hit the zone and ran flying from the get-go.”

Fast-forwarding seven years, Sankovich, soprano and tenor saxophonist Lincoln Adler, bassist Kevin Lofton, and drummer Maurice Miles continue reigniting those spontaneous jazz-meets-funk sparks every time they perform. The distinctive Times 4 sound, which, in the words of eJazzNews reviewer Glenn Astarita, “skirts that fuzzy space between radio-friendly contempo jazz and ballsy, in-the-pocket groove-laden motifs,” has made the quartet a favorite at clubs and festivals throughout its home base in the San Francisco Bay Area and points beyond.

The backbeat-anchored edge that has marked Times 4’s music since its inception remains evident on Eclipse, the group’s third CD, yet the disc represents a step up in the group’s musical evolution with its more carefully crafted original tunes and the clarity of the recorded sound. Many of the compositional collaborations on the two earlier CDs - 2004’s Seductivity and 2007’s Relations - were outgrowths of open-ended jams created on the bandstand. For Eclipse, the four musicians took their time coming up disc’s five collective compositions: the sultry “Crossroads,” the swing-overlaid “Did I Say that Out Loud?”, the funky, feel-good “FSJ,” the bass-and-drums- driven “Sine Language,” and the title track, which drummer Miles describes as being like “an emotional journey.” The haunting ballad “What They Don’t Tell You” was penned by Adler alone.

“Eclipse,” the saxophonist says, “is much more about the band’s refinement and coming into its own as a performing entity. After seven years of playing together, the communication between the members has become much stronger. There is a real unity in the way we support each other in both solos and ensemble playing.”

The CD also includes, for the first time on disc, the group playing non- original numbers. Both are jazz classics: “Eighty One,” written by Ron Carter and Miles Davis, and John Coltrane's “Naima.” “We just did them Times 4’s way,” says Miles.

The eight selections on the CD also benefit from the sonic excellence of having been recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. Besides allowing for better sound separation between the instruments, the facility afforded Sankovich the opportunity to utilize several of its vintage, well-maintained keyboard instruments: a Hammond B-3 organ, a Fender-Rhodes electric piano, and an acoustic grand piano that had once been played by the great Bill Evans. “I kissed it first,” Sankovich quips about playing the grand.

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Album Review

Times 4: Eclipse

Read "Eclipse" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

Album Review

Times 4: Eclipse

Read "Eclipse" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

For some artists, there's a sense of defiance to classification. The members of Times 4 represent that contingent with their third release, Eclipse.Together for seven years, the group is comprised of two sets of San Francisco Bay-area friends who bring a mix of formal training and self teaching. Collectively, they count among their inspirations Grover Washington Jr., Bootsy Collins and Prince.The title song begins as an easygoing groove. The soprano sax leads the melody, piano and ...

Album Review

Times 4: Relations

Read "Relations" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Math made simple. Put two and two together, and you get Times 4, a San Francisco-based jazz group that mixes the old with the new, and lots of stuff in between. Drummer Maurice Miles and bassist Kevin Lofton were friends and musical collaborators in high school. Likewise, saxophonist Lincoln Adler and keyboardist Greg Sankovich were musical friends as teens. Together, the two pairs of old friends form a quartet that is as diverse as it is original. The ...

Album Review

Times 4: Relations

Read "Relations" reviewed by John Kelman

It's a fine line between the contemporary jazz groups like the Yellowjackets make and the more programmatic smooth variety. Approachable grooves can define both spaces, but one expects greater emphasis on interaction and performance from bands that distance themselves from smooth jazz, where it seems to be all about avoiding confrontation and serving best as background music. San Francisco-based Times 4 veer a little closer to the smooth stuff than their Yellowjackets counterparts, but there's enough energy to keep them ...

Album Review

Times 4: Relations

Read "Relations" reviewed by Jim Santella

Saxophonist Lincoln Adler leads this contemporary jazz quartet from San Francisco in a program of originals that blow smoke all around the room. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and this band has plenty of it to share.

Adler has always been able to express himself on tenor and alto with a fluid charm that lends itself to soulful ballads and hip adventures. Here, he brings a light saxophone tone to each piece with a sensual articulation that speaks ...

Album Review

Times 4: Seductivity

Read "Seductivity" reviewed by Jim Santella

Progressive jazz keeps us fresh and aware of what's happening around us. As its hip rhythms get inside you, things start to happen. For one thing, you start to realize that you're not alone. This isn't grandfathers' music; but it certainly could be. It takes one to know one, and I do feel that I can call the music that Times 4 lays down on its debut album my music.

Just as traditional jazz spans generations, contemporary jazz ...

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Bay Area Jazz-Funk Quartet Times 4 to Release "Eclipse" June 1

Bay Area Jazz-Funk Quartet Times 4 to Release "Eclipse" June 1

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Over the last seven years, Times 4 has established itself as one of the most exciting live attractions on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. Whether playing major venues under their own name or opening for national touring acts on festival stages, Times 4 has made a solid impression. Their tight grooves and improvisational prowess have also translated well to disc. Times 4's third CD Eclipse, due out June 1 from their Groove Tonic Media label, finds the group ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Groove Tonic Media



Groove Tonic Media



Groove Tonic Media



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