Kate Williams' Four Plus Three is a collaboration between acclaimed jazz pianist/composer Kate Williams and the Guastalla string quartet.
Kate first met violinists John Garner and Marie Schreer, the co-leaders of the quartet, whilst working on an orchestral project 'Bill Evans And The Impressionists' at the 2014 Guildhall Jazz Festival.
The repertoire for this new project includes material by Bill Evans, Cole Porter and A.C. Jobim as well as originals by Williams. The style of writing and arranging exploits the varied sound pallet of both string quartet and jazz trio, creating contrasts between the improvised and the notated, and between sustained textures and strong grooves. As with her previous arranging ventures, Kate is seeking a fully integrated approach (this is definitely not a jazz trio with string accompaniment!), as this line-up provides a wealth of interesting instrumental sonorities.
The band released their CD 'Four Plus Three' in June 2016, and did a short UK tour with support from Arts Council England. Both the CD and the live performances have received glowing reviews:
"The four is the Guastalla string quartet and the three, the jazz trio led by pianist and composer Kate Williams. As the daughter of the great classical guitarist, John Williams, she was brought up in a world where boundaries between musical genres were always fluid, and that is certainly the case here. There is nothing forced or stilted in the combination. The trio plays with genuine swing; the quartet freely deploys its own natural dynamics. Of all the jazz-classical blends I have heard recently this is certainly the most convincing and enjoyable. And Kate Williams is a very good jazz pianist anyway – crisp, incisive and totally at one with the rhythmic ebb and flow." Dave Gelly, The Observer, 12 June 2016 ****
"Her arrangements – of mainly her own compositions but also of jazz standards – intertwine the Three and Four in creative and often innovatively different ways, not only from track to track but even within individual pieces. And there’s not a cliché to be heard…An album full of delights." Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast, 17th May 2016