Recorded on the opening night of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal as part of an eight-concert series paying tribute to Charlie Haden. While the other evenings all featured stellar musicians and wonderful collaborations, this one is special because it features Haden in a trio of players not usually associated with him: drummer Al Foster – fresh from Miles Davis' band, and the late tenor giant Joe Henderson. In fact, Haden has subtitled the set, "Tribute to Joe Henderson." There are four extended tunes on the set, the shortest of which is the opener, a gorgeous, wide open rendering of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight," on which Henderson begins to display some of the same modal soloing traits he employed on his Blue Note recordings Mode for Joe, and Inner Urge.
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.
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.