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MUSICIAN Born:

Ronnie Foster

Ronnie Foster began playing piano at the age of 4. By age 12 he had switched to Hammond organ and became a student of the jazz great Jimmy Smith. At age 15, Ronnie started playing with George Benson on weekends, while still in school. After graduating from high school Ronnie began a two-year stint with The Billy Wooten Trio. Eventually, Ronnie began playing New York clubs. At 20 he got a call from New York that Saxophonist great Stanley Turrentine was looking for a new organist. He did one gig with Stanley. Word of Ronnie was traveling fast. While he waited for the call about the next Turrentine gig, guitar legend Grant Green heard that Ronnie was in New York

ARTICLE: RADIO

John Lewis @ 100 and More May Birthdays

Read "John Lewis @ 100 and More May Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn

May birthdays this week on G&M! Some big ones (of course): the John Lewis centennial, Dave McKenna @ 90, Arthur Blythe and Carlos Ward @ 80. It's also Stevie Wonder's 70th this month, and May celebrant salutes are in the house (Theo Hill, Ronnie Foster, Mel Lewis, and Groove Holmes) doing 'Wonderful' tunes. We also celebrate ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Free Association - Vol. 3 with John Murph

Read "Free Association - Vol. 3 with John Murph" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Free Association is a series of collaborative mix-tapes curated by Mondo Jazz in association with musicians and selectors of various origins. Free Association mix-tapes develop as a conversation. The first selector sends a tune cherry-picked to suit, and ideally surprise, the second selector who then, in turn, returns the favor. An hour or ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

Ronnie Foster Trio at Nighttown

Read "Ronnie Foster Trio at Nighttown" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Although he came along at the end of an era in terms of the popularity of jazz organ, Ronnie Foster has led a varied and colorful career having studied with the iconic Jimmy Smith and worked with a wide variety of artists including George Benson, David Sanborn, Stevie Wonder, Stanley Turrentine, and Djavan. Currently leading his ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Ronnie Foster: Emotion, Excitement, Energy, and Passion

Read "Ronnie Foster: Emotion, Excitement, Energy, and Passion" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

When it comes to jazz history, few would argue that the years between 1950 and 1970 were a golden era filled with exciting music crossing many stylistic genres. From the concert stage to the Chitlin' Circuit, the era was ripe with talented musicians of all persuasions, many of whom have since faded from memory. Rarely is ...

Ronnie Foster: Two Headed Freap – 1973

Read "Ronnie Foster: Two Headed Freap – 1973" reviewed by Marc Davis

The critics hated Blue Note in the 1970s, and that might be an understatement. Me, I'm kind of intrigued. Fans of good old hard bop, or even soul jazz, were largely left out in the cold. Blue Note in the '70s was a label struggling for its very existence, desperate to find a niche ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Vijay Iyer: Into The Mainstream

Read "Vijay Iyer: Into The Mainstream" reviewed by AAJ Staff

New York-based pianist and composer Vijay Iyer is a rhythmic explorer whose piano trio album Historicity (ACT, 2009) is a cohesive and vibrant record that carries its creator and his colleagues firmly into the mainstream of modern music. The album stems from, among other sources, a succession of striking piano trio influences such as Duke Ellington's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Vijay Iyer Trio: Historicity

Read "Historicity" reviewed by Chris May

There is much that is exciting about pianist Vijay Iyer and almost as much that is irritating. The excitement is in the music and the irritation in the miasma of cerebralization that surrounds it. The most recent instance of the latter comes with the packaging for Historicity. Any album title which requires a fairly lengthy liner ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Vijay Iyer Trio: Historicity

Read "Historicity" reviewed by Troy Collins

The art of the piano trio has enjoyed a healthy renaissance over the past two decades, as a plethora of new stars have ascended the ranks to uphold and advance the tradition. Ethan Iverson, Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran, and Matthew Shipp are just a few of the adventurous younger artists whose notion of the trio is ...

Ronnie Foster: On the Avenue & Cheshire Cat

Read "Ronnie Foster: On the Avenue & Cheshire Cat" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

While it's true that the declining years of the Blue Note label saw many releases of a lesser quality when compared with the golden gems of the label's heydays, sweeping generalizations lead to value judgments that might not always be applicable. Up through the mid '70s, artists like Horace Silver and Gene Harris continued to record ...


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