Times 4
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Times 4


Band Jazz Funk


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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.

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. - Jim Santella


Saxophonist Lincoln Adler is no stranger to me. Having enjoyed his music first with the group Rain-bo Tribe and then his solo projects, he is back with a new group Times 4. The debut CD is titled Seductivity and what you should expect from this disc is some massive, creative jazz, fusion funk. Tracks like "Delicious" and "Distracted" just smell of it. Ladies and gentlemen it smells good. It is like the Average White Band meets the Headhunters meeting Down To the Bone. All ten tracks are originals. Adler surrounds himself with threee unknown, but talented musicians. Greg Sankovich, Kevin Lofton and Maurice Miles. The right musicians to pull off what this group is trying to sell is key here. They play like they have had their lessons and it is now time to show off what they have learned. A smoky jam session, but with direction. I found the music to be complex enough that other musicians should listen to this project and give it some considration for their players. No fluff, just mind exploring…extremely fun, rhythmic music.
- Jeff Charney


On "Relations" - Dude. This is smooth. This is silky smooth. This is the type of jazz your grandfather wouldn’t be caught listening to. Because back then, it was a Miles Davis who was fusion-centric and intriguingly funky. Times 4 takes that funky approach with improvisational chops to the nines. Abstract jazz arrangements with saucy horns and divergent musical genius makes their completely brilliant “Seductivity” look like mere child’s play. And believe you me, that’s saying something—LOUDLY.

On "Seductivity" - Sure “seductivity” might not really be a word but if Times 4 has anything to do with it, it most certainly will have great meaning. Mixing together the sounds of contemporary jazz with funk and even a sprinkle of hip-hop, Times 4 is a multiple of genius. The title track features a groovy bass line that shows how great at freeform they are (check out “Down Low”, a live improv that will make the best jazz artist blush) and what amount of talent this quartet has at their fingertips. Always progressive and destined to shake the earth and move the whole music scene forward, Times 4 is a band that needs to be heard not just read about. So what are you waiting for?
- J-Sin


These guys come flying out of the gate, and they don't stop until the finish line. This is a very hot fusion band, and let me give you my impression of what "fusion" is (because the clinical definition may vary). Fusion is a type of Jazz that incorporates sounds, rhythms, and sensibilities of other styles of music. Times 4 fuses Jazz primarily with a soulful sound. It seems that they are playing from someplace nearby, and all their pieces have a "live", spontaneous sound. This is what keeps fusion firmly rooted in its Jazz heritage, and it is often what keeps "Smooth Jazz" somewhere on the outskirts.

A 4-piece band (hence the name), with constant interaction, mood swings, and surprises galore makes this recording the musical equivalent of a weekend at Six Flags. A thrill a minute. Everybody gets some. That makes it hard to determine who the dominant musician within the group is. But then, nobody ever said there has to be just one. A great name for a promising group of musicians. Times 4.

Recommended for those seeking a Jazzy change-of-pace. - John Marcus

"All Music Guide"

Times 4 is an excellent and tight funk/jazz group. Both tenor saxophonist Lincoln Adler and keyboardist Greg Sankovich are expert at setting danceable grooves and, although Adler's originals are generally pretty basic, the music develops well and holds onto one's attention. The bass-drums team of Kevin Lofton and Maurice Miles is tight and the quartet often thinks as one. The live group improvisation "Down Low" is a solid and coherent change of pace. Seductivity succeeds as both funky dance music and a fine example of the funkier side of jazz.

Fours stars! - Scott Yanow

"All About Jazz"

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 group’s sophomore release, Relations, is a blend of old-school improvisation with modern influences. This is evident on the first track, “M.O.,” a title derived from the word play between the group’s modus operandi and Miles’ nickname, “Mo.” Naturally, Miles sets the pace with superb stick handling, skillfully using the bass, snare, toms and complete array of cymbals. Adler leads for much of the piece with his bluesy tenor sax. While Sankovich and Lofton are mostly in the background, they still make their presence felt.

Lofton takes point on “Thickness,” with a funky bass line worthy of Marcus Miller. Sankovich applies background keys but also enhances this groove with a bit of piano play.

While all the tracks are good, one of the more enjoyable selections is “Cell Phone.” Inspired by a freestyle jam the group has played, this danceable melody is catchy without sounding cliché. All players are in the moment, and it’s easy to tell they’re enjoying it. The group later stretches out on the eight-minute title song and another improvised piece, “Central Park.” Other noteworthy tracks include “Mojito,” “Full Moon” and “Hericane.”

Relations is a collection of ten original tracks that offer something familiar without giving the listener a sense of “been there, done that.” At times, the music sounds like a throwback to the days of Tom Scott and the L.A. Express and Return to Forever. However, the music is all new, and the band delivers its own sound. - Woodrow Wilkins


The passionate embrace of jazz as an art form is often obscured by the inability of commercial interests to see this genre of music as an art form of immense importance. Instead, many consultants, record labels and radio stations choose to relegate artistic intent with a perceived idea of what is commercial and what is not. But every now and again, a jazz artist or group is given an opportunity to convey the intuitive creative spirit that comes from within minus the bottom line input of bean counters, many of whom could care less about artistic expression or intent. In the case of Times 4 a San Francisco based contemporary jazz quartet, they have recorded a sizzling CD with all of the bells and whistles of stylized intuitive creativity.

Times 4 latest CD entitled ‘Relations’ is a release that embraces rhythmic expression and all of the improvisational characteristics of what jazz interpretation should be about. In addition, the group has recorded 10 original tracks that criss-cross the boundaries of the so-called urban influence on jazz. The musical chemistry attached to ‘Relations’ provides a cornucopia of individual expression and talent; however, no voices are ever alike as the influences of soul, Latin, R&B hip-hop and funk music permeate each associative track. Each one of the ten tracks provides a commonality of purpose that drives the dynamic influences of interpretive melodies and syncopated rhythms. By all accounts, Times 4 explores the landscape of jazz with creative intent and a variety of musical interludes.

Collectively, Times 4 has recorded an album that is filled with a high degree of first rate enthused ideas. Seldom is there an opportunity to explore the remnants of improvised jazz with the dynamics and zeal of previous influences. Times 4’s ability to incorporate the provocative urban flavors of everyday music with jazz provides an artistic catalyst that titillates the senses. In the end, ‘Relations’ is an album that provides a backdrop for contemporary jazz as a setting for further exploration of jazz as an art form. By most standards, this CD is not one you will hear everyday; however, ‘Relations’ and Times 4 will surely open the doors for further examination as time goes by. - Sheldon Nunn

"ejazz news"

This San Francisco area quartet’s second endeavor skirts that fuzzy space between radio-friendly contempo jazz and ballsy, in-the-pocket groove laden motifs. With drummer Maurice Miles’ snappy backbeats steering the flows, the frontline soloists generate cool grooves amid some polytonal unison choruses. Saxophonist Lincoln Adler’s yearning and soulful lines are underscored with catchy hooks and mainstream jazz-like phrasings. Meanwhile, keyboardist Greg Sankovich implements synth treatments while acting as a strong foil for the saxophonist. On the piece titled “Enterlude,” bassist Kevin Lofton executes a harmonically attractive ostinato vamp as a foundation for the soloists lower register explorations.

In addition, the musicians’ self-penned comps serve as rock-solid underpinnings for their tightly-woven exchanges. The ensemble’s nicely-designed crossover of expansive soloing coupled with memorable themes and airy frameworks should hypothetically, yield a wide-ranging fan base. Its contemporary jazz that projects an up-tempo vibe, accentuated with an irrefutable edge! - Glenn Astarita

"Midwest Record"

Standing on the corner where progressive jazz meets contemporary urban, this well versed SF based crew does their genre splicing with grand style. The kind of set that will bring younger tastes into the jazz tent, there’s a smartness and style here that percolates and bubbles and ultimately bubbles over with the kind of enthusiasm that wins new fans over. A tasty date that breaks new ground and opens the ears. - Chris Spector


“San Francisco has always been a melting pot for great music. A lot of the reason is it is also a melting pot for culture. We have people of all origins, colors and flavors. You have to be pretty open-minded to live here, and it definitely reflects in the music,” says Greg Sankovich the keyboardist for the San Franciscan jazz/funk quartet Times 4. “Compared to other places, there is definitely a lot more groove happening here. Whether it is Mariachi music, soul or jam down music, the various dance elements blend together into a funky stew. We (Times 4) like to think that we epitomize that in our sound, and the approach that we bring to the music,” concludes Sankovich.

The words “a funky stew” can also be applied to the music of Times 4, as the members of the ensemble have brought together an eclectic background of R&B, hip-hop, jazz, rock, fusion and contemporary music to create their debut album Seductivity, and the outstanding sophomore CD release Relations.

Lincoln Adler, the saxophonist for the quartet says, “One of the things that is really interesting is even though we didn’t end up playing the same music, we all grew up listening to the same kind of R&B, like Earth, Wind & Fire, and funk such as “Bootsy” Collins. It is interesting to see how our lives have (evolved). Greg and I wound up being a little more straight ahead, while Kevin (Lofton/bass) and Maurice wound up being more R&B and rock. It somehow, however, all comes together in our music."

That funky stew is what keeps Adler stimulated and involved with Times 4. During the 1990’s he was a member of a group known as the Rainbow Tribe, which he says, played a similar type of music and first whet his appetite for this type of musical venture.

All the band members concur that it is difficult to apply a label to the music of Times 4. Drummer Maurice Miles says, “I think it is really the dynamic of our music. Some parts can be considered contemporary, and I think other parts have a jazz overtone. Our music has a groove-oriented backbeat. I think it is a mixture of a few genres. Some things that we do, such as “Full Moon,” is more contemporary, but then you get into a little more funky stuff with “M.O.” I don’t think that we do just one type of music.”

Sankovich’s cultural and musical influences extend beyond San Francisco, and even beyond the shores of America. After university, he spent ten years living in Tokyo, Japan. He says, “When you are separated from your family, familiar surroundings and your culture, there is a point where you stand on the edge of the cliff and ask, ‘Who am I? What am I? What do I want to accomplish and express? What does my creativity mean to me? What does all of this mean to me?’ There are moments when there are pangs of loneliness that creep in and you wonder what you are doing, and what your life means. When you look inside and try to express from your heart that which you love most, that is the biggest lesson that you learn. I think that we are always learning, and that we are always confronted with that. We get involved in the day-to-day kind of things and tend to forget (about those lessons) and gravitate away from them. It is only in those critical moments that we are reminded of them.”

Times 4 has been together now for a little more than four years and the current project Relations marks their maturity as a band. Lofton notes, “I think there is a definite difference between Seductivity and Relations. When we are on stage together, we are always learning from each other and growing as musicians, but I think that we have come a long way since the first album. We did a lot more writing and put a lot more thought into the songs this time around. Last time, we came up with some ideas and we were happy with them. We wanted to get that CD done, and we did. It worked out really well and was a good stamp for where we were at, at the time, but, I think there is quite a bit of difference as far as the writing goes on this second set of songs (Relations).”

The maturity and tightness of the group also is evident in the way Relations came together. Miles says of the creative process, “It was pretty much all improvisation. We pretty well create all of our music in that way. When we first got together (as a group), we didn’t have any material and just started jamming together. We bring out our ideas through our playing. A lot of our music comes from an emotional perspective. It is what we feel at the time. We like to keep it that way because the music is more stimulating. Somebody will start a groove and then everybody will put their little bit into it. As we listen to each other, different ideas begin to (emerge). Once we have the basic idea, then we sit down and start to structure it.”

A discussion of the group’s songs reveals that although their music can be described using superlatives, their creative process is really quite simplistic and inspired in the moment. Lofton’s explanation for the orig - Joe Montague - interview


Relations - Groove Tonic Media - 2007

Times 4’s sophomore CD release, Relations, is a project borne of a collaborative and improvisational approach to music composition. The group captured the magic of their spontaneous live improvisations by basing their songwriting process on group-improvised musical motifs. Thus, in part, the title of this CD, “Relations”.

Seductivity - Groove Tonic Media - 2005

On their debut album Seductivity, Times 4 displays a wide range of musical beats and flavors that reflect the eclectic backgrounds of the musicians. From straight up jazz/funk to Latin to blues to Middle Eastern tinge, Seductivity takes you on a diverse musical journey.



San Francisco-based contemporary jazz quartet Times 4 presents an energetic program of original instrumental compositions. Delivering a fresh Bay Area blend of uplifting modern jazz with urban flavor, Times 4 generates an artful and intense musical interplay steeped in the history of friendship and common roots.

Drawing on a wide range of styles including jazz, soul, latin, funk, hip-hop and rock, Times 4 weaves a musical tapestry that expresses their diverse roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. Driving grooves combined with distinctive melodies and dynamic improvisations move the Times 4 audience to tap their feet and feel dance in their bones.

The members of Times 4 have, together and individually, traveled the world contributing their talents to a wide range of musical projects with many renowned artists, and have recorded music on over 20 distinguished record labels. Times 4 developed their sound and approach over the last five years with regular performances at festivals, clubs, and events including fine venues such as Yoshi’s, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Fillmore and North Beach Jazz Festivals, Jazz at Pearl’s, and the Boom Boom Room. Their first CD, Seductivity, continues to generate critical acclaim from listeners and reviewers alike.


Times 4 has performed at many venues and events, including: Yoshi's, the JVC Jazz Festival, the North Beach Jazz Festival, the Bach Dancing and Dynamaite Society, The San Francisco Legion of Honor, The San Jose Jazz Society Concert Series, The Music Matrix Soulabration, The San Jose Jazz Festival, The Fillmore Jazz Festival, Jazz at Pearl's, The Mill Valley Music Festival, Stanford Concert Series, KKSF Concert In the Park, The Larkspur Art and Flower Festival, The San Anselmo Art and Design Festival, Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival, Burlingame Art and Jazz Festival, Napa Chef’s Market Concert Series, Belvedere Winery, Berkeley/Albany Solano Stroll, Straits Cafe -Burlingame, The De Anza Hotel - San Jose, The Boom Boom Room - San Francisco, Blondies Bar and no grill - San Francisco, DG's Jazz - Napa, Jupiter - Berkeley, Straits Café on Santana Row - San Jose, Bubble Lounge - San Francisco, Beat Lounge - San Francisco, Paragon Lounge -San Jose/Berkeley, Agenda Lounge - San Jose, Gordon Biersch - San Jose, Shattuck Down Low - Berkeley, Club Jazz Nouveau - San Francisco, Boas Club Elite - Cupertino, Central Park Bistro - San Mateo, Main Street Brewery - Pleasanton, Rasselas - San Francisco.

Corporate engagements include: Shoretel Corporation, RSA Networks Convention, CVT Therapeutics, E3 Furniture, and Bloomingdale’s.


Lincoln Adler started playing various musical instruments at the age of 5, eventually being drawn to the saxophone in high school. Lincoln became fascinated by the power of music to communicate feelings across the boundaries of language and culture. He developed his sound playing in local bands, and refined his abilities at the University of California, Berkeley as a member of the UC Jazz Ensembles. He studied with some great teachers, including legendary saxophonist Joe Henderson and local hero Hal Stein. In Los Angeles he became an in-demand session player and composer/producer for TV and film. He released four albums under his own name as well as one with the successful band Rain-bo Tribe. Lincoln has performed and recorded with many artists including actor/pianist Jeff Goldblum, kd lang, and Olivia Newton John. His musical influences include Sonny Rollins, Johnny Griffin, Grover Washington Jr., Stanley Turrentine, Gustav Mahler and Meshell Ndegeocello.

Greg Sankovich began music with classical piano when he was six years old and later studied with some of the finest jazz and Latin pianists in the San Francisco area, including pianist/educator Mark Levine. As a teen, Greg performed out in the local music scene with a variety of jazz, R&B, and dance bands, including international blues artist Brenda Boykin, and was also active in the UC Jazz Ensembles. Greg lived in Tokyo for over ten years, performing with many top Japanese artists including jazz-fusion group Taikun and Takekawa Yukihide, as well as contributing his sound to many TV and radio productions. Since moving back to the SF Bay area in 1994, Greg has performed in a wide range of musical projects from jazz to house, hip-hop to pop. His musical inspirations include Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Chester Thompson, and Chuck Leavell.

Kevin Lofton is the root and harmonic foundation of Times 4. A San Jose native, Kevin has been playing bass since his early teens. Listening to everything from gospel to hip-hop to metal and jazz, Kevin strives to bring each of these flavors to the Times 4 table. Career highlights include touring the U.S. and Canada with Protégé, Stevie B, and Jahi and the Life along with drummer Maurice. Their years of musical friendship produce a rhythmic conception and ener