Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Al Foster - 1978 [2016] "Mixed Roots"

Al Foster (born January 18, 1943) is an American jazz drummer. Foster played with Miles Davis during the 1970s, and was one of the few people to have contact with Davis during his retirement from 1975–1981. Foster also played on Davis's 1981 comeback album The Man with the Horn in 1981. He was the only musician to play in Davis's band both before and after his retirement.
Foster has toured extensively with Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson. He is a versatile drummer who has played in musical styles ranging from bebop to free form to jazz/rock.

Foster was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in New York. He began playing drums at the age of 13 and made his recording debut with Blue Mitchell at 21.
He joined Miles Davis's group when Jack DeJohnette left in 1972, and played with Davis until 1985. In his 1989 autobiography, Davis described the first time he heard Foster play live in 1972 at the Cellar Club in Manhattan: "He [Foster] knocked me out because he had such a groove and he would just lay it right in there. That was the kind of thing I was looking for. Al could set it up for everybody else to play-off and just keep the groove going forever."

He was recording with Blue Mitchell (as "Aloysius Foster" on the Blue Note album The Thing to Do). In 1969, at the Cellar Club on 95th St. in Manhattan, Foster got his big break; as he was backing up bassist Earl May in a quartet, his drumming was noticed by trumpeter Miles Davis. Davis hired Foster on the spot as a replacement for Jack DeJohnette, who was then departing the ever-enlarging Davis group of that period. This indeed would prove a long commitment for Foster, who played on every Miles Davis album ranging from Big Fun to You're Under Arrest, and toured with him extensively.
Foster left Miles Davis in 1985, and since then has worked independently, sometimes as leader, sometimes as sideman. Over his lengthy and enduring career Al Foster has worked with Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Haden, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Liebman, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Henderson.

Track listing:

01. Mixed Roots
02. Ya' Damn Right
03. Pauletta
04. Double Stuff
05. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Dedicated to Miles Davis)
06. El Cielo Verde
07. Soft Distant

Personnel:

Al Foster - drums (#1-7), piano (#4)
Michael Brecker (#1-7) - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Bob Mintzer (#1,2), Sam Morrison (#5,6) - soprano saxophone
Jim Clouse - alto saxophone, flute (#5)
Paul Metzke - guitar (#1-3,5-7)
Masabumi Kikuchi (#1-6) - piano, keyboards
Teo Macero - piano (#7)
Jeff Berlin (#1,2), T.M. Stevens (#3-6), Ron McClure (#7) - bass

Recorded at CBS Recording Studios, New York in 1978.

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