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 carries its seductive influence to any and all who appreciate a backbeat, keyboard perks, electric bass thumps, and a solo instrumental voice with heart appeal. Grover Washington, Jr. was the master of this art. Times 4 merely borrows from what he accomplished and turns it into original material that inspires.
West Coast saxophonist Lincoln Adler gives the ensemble a warm, fuzzy quality that places Times 4 in the forefront of our "talent deserving much recognition" category. His fluid phrasing and relaxed improvisation carries the day. Alongside equally creative inventions from organist Greg Sankovich, the tenor saxophonist gives his audience a performance to remember.
Critics of bebop say it's too intense. John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker could stir the pot.
Critics of contemporary jazz say it's too intense. Loud music doesn't make sense in the long run. Think of your eardrums.
Critics of smooth jazz say it's too tame. For the most part, they're right. Smooth jazz usually takes on the mantle of pop music and settles for repetition with easy-to-handle, linear lines and shallow harmony.
Times 4 has found a happy medium. The quartet's exciting program grabs you like a magnet and never lets go. These players can hold your enraptured attention for marathon sessions, as they do on the album's live track, "Down Low," or they can provide you with music to make your day a whole lot brighter, as they do on this highly recommended album.
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