158

Ronnie Foster: Two-Headed Freep

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Like organs and jazz? I love the old Wes Montgomery/Jimmy Smith stuff, and even the classic Walter Wanderley latin material like "Summer Samba" and "O Barquinho". Ronnie Foster’s "Two-Headed Freep" is definately an organ of another color. It’s hip, alive, groovy. The whole album, originally recorded in 1972, has that whole funky 70’s thang goin’ on! Check out some of the titles: "Chunky", "Mystic Brew", "Kentucky Fried Chicken", and the title track of course. It’s definitely got the same kind of vibe as Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield. As groovy as today’s acid jazz or even smooth jazz may get, and even with the resurgence of jazz organ under the nimble fingers of Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Goldings, and others, we haven’t heard organ work like this for a long, long time.

The rhythm section of George Duvivier or Gordon Edwards on bass and Jimmy Johnson on drums, is like a train, cookin’ right through the passages, and Foster’s out front sounding the whistle. There are some real burners like the cover "Drowning in the Sea of Love" and the lead-off track "Chunky". These tracks are not fusion, but about as fast and furious as a groove gets. Then there are really hip, mellow, lyrical jaunts like the Foster original "Summer Song". Foster’s lively organ set is complemented by some bright vibe work by George Devens (also on percussion), Gene Bertoncini’s guitar (clean and funky!), Gene Bianco on harp, and Arthur Jenkins on congas.

This release is about feel. I don’t have a library of Ronnie Foster releases, so I can’t speak to his body of work, but he doesn’t demonstrate particularly interesting or astounding technique on these tracks. In fact, his soloing chops are a bit sloppy and the solos tend to be lick-filled, repetitive, and lacking in inspiration and direction. Nonetheless, the ensembles clicks and the playing is right-on for the overall context of the album. Foster’s shortcomings on technique and execution don’t at all detract from the vibe.

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "The Third Decade" CD/LP/Track Review The Third Decade
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Tuesday Prayers" CD/LP/Track Review Tuesday Prayers
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!