Al Foster Quartet
Love, Peace and Jazz
Live at the Village Vanguard

(Jazz Eyes)
Love, Peace and Jazz

Review by Jean Timmons

Love, Peace and Jazz! is the type live jazz performance recording that whets the listener's desire to have been in the audience, catching the inspired music. Aloysius "Al" Foster is an accomplished musician, playing mainly drums during his professional career. He was instrumental in Miles Davis' comeback, lending his powerful support to We Want Miles, Star People, and Decoy. But Miles was not the only musician that Foster exhibited rapport; he has also made great music with Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and the recently departed Freddie Hubbard. He formed his quartet in 1997. On this September 2008 release, Foster is joined by young lions: Kevin Hays (piano), Eli DeGibri (saxophones), and Douglas Weiss (double bass). Hays succeeded drummer Aaron Goldberg in 1999; after his debut recording with Herbie Hancock, DeGibri nurtured his contact with Foster by joining the band; and Weiss sharpened his tools with such musicians as Brad Mehldau, Toshiko Kiyoshi, and Chris Potter before becoming an original member of Fosterís band.

At the Vanguard, the quartet performed six pieces: three by Foster ("The Chief," "Peter's Mood," and "Brandyn"), Wayne Shorter's "ESP," Davis' "Blue in Green," and Blue Mitchell's "Fungii Mama." They opened with "The Chief," which is a dynamic piece of music with Foster taking such a lead that one knows at the onset that the drummer is the leader of the band, the chief. But he gives his sidemen much space to shine and that they do. From DeGibri's sparklingly outstanding work on "Blue in Green" to Hays, the minimalist, playing the lovely "Peter's Mood" as though itís about him, to the swinging, yet delicate work of Douglas Weiss on "Brandyn," the set is outstanding. There are no weak pieces.

After "working nearly 500 dates around the world," it is quite apparent that they are companeros all. Together Foster and Weiss produced this recording. And the listener has to agree with Foster. How can you go wrong in this world with love, peace, and jazz firmly in hand, running it.

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