Originally Posted by fly
Ive been waiting for the Al Foster thread. It took me a little while to get into AL, but now Im hooked. Such a strong beat and one of the main things that I really like about him is how his listening really comes across in what hes playing, its always so direct and clear and creative. To my ears he sounds like hes coming directly from Max, Philly, Ed Blackwell, big emphasis on Blackwell and also Tony. Im not sayin he sounds like these cats and thats the beutiful thing is that Al Foster is moving things forword. No one tunes there drums like him also, Im not exactly sure on the exact degrees of the pitches but his way is kind of like a piano in some ways. I have heard that its pretty hard to watch him play though LOL, whatever like that really matters.
A buddy of mine met him in the market around the corner from Small's a few years ago. He told Al how much he liked that Blue Mitchell record. Al said that, at the time, he was infatuated with Art Taylor's playing. A.T. was known as THE cymbal guy, so maybe that's partly where Al's strong beat came from.
My other favorite Al Foster is on Joe Henderson's "The State of the Tenor" albums. Good stuff. Joe Hen said that Al was his all time favorite drummer to play with. That's quite an endorsement, coming from a guy who's played with Roy, Elvin, Tony, etc.!