Home » Jazz Musicians » Al Foster

Al Foster

Al Foster, master drummer, has been a major innovator in the world of jazz for several decades. As a member of the Miles Davis band for thirteen years, Foster's contribution to Davis' music is articulated by Davis himself in his 1989 autobiography, Miles: The Autobiography, where Davis describes the first time he heard Foster play live in 1972 at the Cellar Club on 95th Street 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. AI could set it up for everybody else to play off and just keep the groove going forever." Other artists Foster has performed and recorded with include Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Randy & Michael Brecker, Bill Evans (the pianoplayer), George Benson, Kenny Drew, Carmen McRae, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans, Dexter Gordon and Chick Corea. Over the years, Foster has toured extensively with Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson, becoming a major attraction in all three bands as well as an integral part of them. Respected and admired for his keen sensitivity, Foster is known for his unique ability to listen to and playoff others in an almost telepathic way, responding to them with a style that is at once both charismatic and understated. Al Foster, is a great believer in the purity of the music, a genuine artist who continues to push the boundaries of creativity again and again, devoted to preserving and perpetuating the highest standards in jazz today. He is a magnificent all-round drummer, and his rhythmic chops are renowned in musical styles ranging from bebop to free form to jazz/rock. Recently he has recorded and toured with his own band.


Tags

13
Live Review

Al Foster Quintet at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

Read "Al Foster Quintet at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club" reviewed by Chris DeRosa


Al Foster Quintet 81st Birthday Celebration Smoke Jazz & Supper Club January 27, 2024 Hello, my name is Chris DeRosa and this is what I heard... Smoke is a great venue to hear timeless jazz. Established in 1999 and located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the sound and layout make it a highly enjoyable venue to catch some of New York's finest. And as expected, tonight's show did not disappoint.

25
Reassessing

The Electric Years Box Set

Read "The Electric Years Box Set" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


In a year that has brought us a true bounty of previously unheard majesty including Evenings at the Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy (Impulse!), and Bill Evans; Treasures: Solo, Trio & Orchestra Recordings from Denmark (1965-1969), (Elemental Music) it is only fitting that Miles Davis get his due. And in a very, very big way. Seared into modern memory, modern art, the music presented on the gloriously massive, eleven LP set Miles Davis: The Electric Years ...

4
Album Review

Al Foster: Inspirations and Dedications

Read "Inspirations and Dedications" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


On paper Al Foster's resume as a supporting artist reads better than most other jazz drummers. He's recorded albums with Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Frank Morgan, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner}, and a comeback-era {Miles Davis, among a plethora of others. Chances are, those who aren't familiar with his name have heard him somewhere, and for the first time since 2002, they can hear him on Inspirations And Dedications as a band leader. As its title suggests, the album ...

7
In Pictures

23th Punta del Este Jazz in Uruguay (First Night)

Read "23th Punta del Este Jazz in Uruguay (First Night)" reviewed by Pablo Reyes


Photographs from the first night of the 23rd version of the Jazz Festival of Punta del Este in Uruguay. Performances by Amigos de El Sosiego (The Music of Lee Morgan) with David Feldman: piano; Popo Romano: double bass; Pipi Piazzolla: drums; Nicolás Mora: guitar; Diego Urcola: trumpet with Alex Brown: violin; Jessé Sadoc: trumpet. The Al Foster Cuarteto with Adam Birnbaum: piano; Doug Weiss: double bass; Chris Potter: saxophone; Al Foster: drums. And the Johnny O'Neal Trío. Mark Lewandowski: double ...

438
Film Review

New Morning Paris Concert

Read "New Morning Paris Concert" reviewed by Chris Kompanek


Al Foster New Morning Paris Concert Inakustik 2009

Al Foster played with Miles Davis for several years in the '70s, appearing on Get Up With It, On The Corner, Big Fun, Dark Magus, Agharta, and reuniting with him in the '80s for The Man With The Horn, We Want Miles, Star People, Decoy and You're Under Arrest. And the drummer was one of the few people to stay in contact with him ...

636
Interview

Al Foster: Love, Peace and Jazz!

Read "Al Foster: Love, Peace and Jazz!" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes


Drumming great Al Foster has spent nearly a half-century playing with some of the greatest musicians, and on some of the most memorable albums, in jazz history, from Miles Davis' On The Corner and Agharta to Joe Henderson's State of the Tenor and the collaborative group Scolohofo (with John Scofield, Joe Lovano and Dave Holland). Today Foster records and tours the world with his own quartet, last year releasing Love, Peace And Jazz!, recorded live at Village Vanguard. During a ...

470
Album Review

Al Foster Quartet: Love, Peace and Jazz!

Read "Love, Peace and Jazz!" reviewed by Joel Roberts


Al Foster is probably best known as Miles Davis' drummer for much of the '70s and '80s, and as a well-regarded sideman for jazz giants including Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson. He's also, somewhat quietly, been leading a first-rate unit of his own for more than a decade, one that has only released two albums, the first in 1997 and the second just out in 2008 on the Italian Jazz Eyes label. Love, Peace and ...

Read more articles
1

Performance / Tour

World-Renowned Smoke Jazz Club Kickstarts The New Year Celebrating Two Jazz Giants’ Birthdays: Billy Harper And Al Foster

World-Renowned Smoke Jazz Club Kickstarts The New Year Celebrating Two Jazz Giants’ Birthdays: Billy Harper And Al Foster

Source: AMT Public Relations

Rated the #1 jazz club in New York City (Secret NYC), SMOKE Jazz Club begins 2024 with an exciting line-up in January. The month begins with two piano greats: Bill Charlap leading his longtime Trio (Jan 3-7) followed by renowned pianist/composer Billy Childs and his Quartet (Jan 11-14). SMOKE is honored to host two octogenarians celebrating their 81st birthdays in back-to-back concert celebrations: tenor saxophone giant Billy Harper leads his Quintet (Jan 18-21) then drumming master Al Foster is at ...

3

Performance / Tour

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Begins The New Year With 80th Birthday Celebrations For Billy Harper And Al Foster, The 10th Annual Coltrane Festival, And More

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Begins The New Year With 80th Birthday Celebrations For Billy Harper And Al Foster, The 10th Annual Coltrane Festival, And More

Source: AMT Public Relations

January 2023 Schedule Sunday, January 1 Coltrane Festival featuring Jeremy Pelt with the Eric Reed / Vincent Herring Quintet Jeremy Pelt: trumpet Vincent Herring: alto & tenor saxophone Eric Reed: piano John Webber: bass Joe Farnsworth: drums SMOKE’s 10th annual Coltrane Festival continues with featured guest trumpeter Jeremy Pelt joining the Eric Reed/Vincent Herring Quintet. JazzTimes says, “Pelt is a technical marvel. He executes intricate solos with ease, plays gorgeous ballads in a tasteful manner, ...

3

Performance / Tour

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Announces Fall Concert Schedule: September-November

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Announces  Fall Concert Schedule: September-November

Source: AMT Public Relations

One of New York City’s premier live music venues, Smoke Jazz Club, presents a stellar line-up of both legendary jazz performers and emerging voices for the fall season. Acclaimed for its essential music programming and inspired setting, Smoke Jazz Club recently reopened to much fanfare after being closed to indoor performances and dining for over two years. This revered institution has undertaken an impressive expansion and renovation that anchors its place as a world-renowned destination for the best in classic ...

331

Recording

Mosaic Select: Pendulum Featuring Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Richie Beirach, Frank Tusa and al Foster

Mosaic Select: Pendulum Featuring Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Richie Beirach, Frank Tusa and  al Foster

Source: All About Jazz

Explosive Post-Bop Jazz By Five Master Musicians In February 1978, saxophonist Dave Liebman assembled Pendulum, a formidable quintet with trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Richie Beirach, bassist Frank Tusa and drummer Al Foster. The group was assembled for a one-week engagement at the Village Vanguard in New York City. Sadly, its lifespan was that one gig, but fortunately John Snyder of Artists House Records and engineer David Baker were on hand to record the last two nights of the run. The ...

118

Performance / Tour

Gene Ess Quartet with Special Guest Al Foster

Gene Ess Quartet with Special Guest Al Foster

Source: All About Jazz


105

Performance / Tour

Gene Ess Quartet with Special Guest: Al Foster performs at the CBGB Lounge

Gene Ess Quartet with Special Guest: Al Foster performs at the CBGB Lounge

Source: All About Jazz


"...for what I wanted in a drummer, Al Foster had all of it." -- Miles Davis

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Whatever: Anthology 1

Blue Buddha Productions
2023

buy

The Electric Years...

Columbia Records / VMP Anthology
2023

buy

Reflections

Smoke Sessions Records
2022

buy

Out and Out Jazz

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

Cerebral Caverns

Postcards
2021

buy

Been Down This Road Before

From: Been Down This Road Before
By Al Foster

Similar

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.