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.
George Young served in the Army until the early '70s before embarking on a full-time career as a musician. This second effort as a leader features Young on tenor sax, with pianist Warren Bernhardt, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Al Foster, and harmonica player Toots Thielemans as a guest on one track. Young is somewhat overshadowed by his rhythm section during some of this 1986 session but gets his inner fires burning in a furious take of "Groovin' High," though his languid interpretation of "My Foolish Heart" could have been a bit more inspired, as Thielemans steals the show. Among the four originals written by the leader, the brisk "Yum Yum" (based on the chord changes to the standard "You Stepped Out of a Dream") and the easygoing waltz "October" stand out.