Four and More plays fresh and funky interpretations of jazz standards spiced up with a little rhythm and blues. Whether it's a special occasion with dancing, background music for a cocktail party or an entertaining concert, Four and More brings soulful sax lines, hot bass and drum grooves, virtuosic piano riffs and vocals that deliver the song with heart and humor.
The band's diverse repertoire ranges from the swing tunes of Ellington and Basie to the funky jazz of Cannonball Adderley and Freddie Hubbard to the soulful complexity of Miles and Coltrane with a liberal dose of latin grooves, melodic ballads and Chicago blues.
Dan Willis, SAXOPHONES
Dan makes the sax feel like your best friend as he evokes the bluesy funk of Adderley and the soulful moods of Getz, along with many of the great sax players across a wide spectrum of musical styles. It all began in his hometown of Portland, Oregon where he took up the saxophone at age 10 and played in his high school jazz band. At age 16 he joined a professional trio, The Shades Of Blue, an experience that honed his chops and paid for the majority of his college education. He spent the rest of his youth playing in jazz, rock and funk bands, and studying with Joe Viola at Berklee College of Music. A California resident since 1986, in addition to playing tenor and alto sax with Four and More, Dan plays lead alto in a local big band, and works with a variety of other bands in the area.
KATHY BLACKBURN, VOCALS
With an opera singer for a mother, a jazz fan for a father, and a blues-guitar-playing brother, Kathy grew up with a diverse repertoire, starting with her first stint as a vocalist at age 13 in a Creedence Clearwater cover band. Since then, she's sung in a reggae ensemble, Neil Young tribute band, various guitar/vocal duos and numerous solo jazz appearances throughout the Bay Area and Santa Cruz (Octavia Lounge, Jazzschool, Avonova, Bocci's Cellar, etc.). Kathy's vocal style was described by one reviewer as "...confidence and style that only enhances [her] clarity of tone and effusiveness." She loves soulful ballads, clever blues lyrics, melodic standards and straight-ahead jazz. Visit Kathy's website at kathyblackburn.com for more music and information.
greg jacobs, KEYBOARDS
When Greg Jacobs isn't playing with Four and More, he is the resident pianist at Cafe Jolie in Alameda where he performs jazz standards, blues, bossa nova, and original compositions in a piano-bass duo every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Greg, born in London, grew up in San Rafael, where he started playing piano as a child. As a teenager, Greg studied classical and jazz piano with the brilliant Gini Wilson. At San Rafael High School, Greg played in the big band and got work with a combo based on the big band's rhythm section. Meanwhile he participated in recitals and competitions as a classical pianist and attended some of the public jam sessions in San Francisco. While studying Biology and Spanish at San Francisco State University, Greg played in the jazz combos there and continued to play trio and quartet gigs at private events. Visit gregjacobsjazz.com to hear his music and for more info on booking or private lessons.
TED STEWART, DRUMS
Ted is originally from St. Louis and has been playing drums since age 12. His first gigs were with his friend, alto sax great Dave Sanborn, in a jazz big band. He joined the musicians union at age 16 and played gigs throughout the St. Louis area until he moved to the Bay Area where he worked for Bill Graham. During the sixties and seventies he played and recorded with various groups in venues such as Winterland, the Fillmore, the Village Gate in New York and the Family Dog. He performed on the same bill as the Doors, Chuck Berry, Jefferson Starship, Johnny Winter, Boz Scaggs and Eric Burdon, among others. Ted evokes the great solo drummers like Gene Krupa and Elvin Jones, bringing a funky, polyrhythmic feel that makes the drums sing as well as lay down the beat.
Photographer: Donna Paula-Willis