This DVD from Al Foster is from a July 25, 2007 concert, taped at the New Morning nightclub in Paris. For the gig, Foster's usual quartet, featuring bassist Doug Weiss, saxophonist Eli Degibri, and one of several pianists, has been augmented to a quintet with the addition of trumpeter Eddie Henderson. The piano chair is actually filled by two different players; Aaron Goldberg plays on the first five tracks, George Colligan on the last five.
No longer trying to push the envelope of innovation, Tyner settles down with a pair of experts and carves out a very nice, fairly orthodox piano trio album. This is Tyner reaffirming most of his strengths: the massive tone quality, the two-handed control over the entire keyboard, and the generally uplifting attitude conveyed through the shape of his melodic invention.
By 1949, when the first of these tracks was recorded, Al Haig had made it clear that he was a major jazz artist. He was a favorite colleague of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, and Stan Getz. He was in demand by dozens of other leading players as their accompanist of preference. Many of his peers considered him second only to Bud Powell among bebop pianists.
On this early effort, pianist David Kikoski is joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Al Foster. While Kikoski’s use of synthesizers on several cuts dates the material to some degree, there’s still some great playing and writing to be heard. There are also historical details worth mentioning: “Dirty Dogs” would later appear on Billy Hart’s 1993 album Amethyst, and “Hope,” the opening track, would later appear on Al Foster’s 1997 album Brandyn (both of these later discs feature Kikoski himself). In addition to these and three other solid originals, there are also swinging versions of two Cole Porter tunes, “In the Still of the Night” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and a closing solo piano meditation on “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” Even though this is far from Kikoski’s most mature work, his harmonic wizardry and stunning chops are very much in evidence.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Moody brilliance from pianist Mike Nock – a solid quartet date that features plenty of edgey tenor from Michael Brecker, who's in really great form throughout! The rhythm section has a nicely snakey vibe too – with George Mraz on bass and Al Foster on drums – and both players can come on strong when Mike needs them to, then lay back into some warmer, lyrical modes that really show Nock's melodic development at this point in his career. The highlight of this recording is Brecker's soulful tenor sax solos, some of his finest playing ever. The piano is acoustic throughout – and titles include "Break Time", "Dark Light", "Shadows Of Forgotten Love", "Hadrian's Wall", and "The Gift".
The Aeolian Quartet's epic cycle, originally released in the Seventies, was one of the gramophone's major contributions to Haydn's cause. Listening to the performances anew I find they have lost none of their freshness: they were based on the latest research, and the playing itself is always intelligent and thoughtful, with Emanuel Hurwitz's sweet-toned violin-playing a great asset throughout. (Misha Donat)