Lean, righteous blowing from the legendary Frank Foster – one of a handful of extremely hip sessions he cut in the 60s under his own name! The album's the only record Foster ever did for Blue Note – and we dare say it's even better than his previous 60s work on Prestige and Impulse – with a quality that's even darker, even deeper, even more advanced from his earlier years with Basie. There's a rolling, joyous groove to many numbers – that late 60s take on soul jazz that made for so many great tracks on albums by Hank Mobley or Lee Morgan near the end of the decade. Foster keeps things tight, but he's also got an expansive vision too – an edge in the horns that points the way towards some of the chances he'd take in the 70s, but which is still wrapped around a leanly leaping soul jazz groove! Foster wrote 5 of the 6 tracks on the album, and he's working here with a sextet that includes Garnett Brown on trombone, Marvin Stamm on trumpet, and Richard Wyands on piano, who brings in some offbeat notes and colors throughout. Rhythm is by the excellent team of Bob Cranshaw on bass and Mickey Roker on drums – and titles include "Seventh Avenue Bill", "Stammpede", "Little Miss No Nose", "Manhattan Fever", and "Loneliness". Added to the core album is a full bonus album – recorded by Foster nearly a year after the first, and even more far-reaching! There's a quality to the date that mixes together Frank's previous soulful vamping with some more introspective, more lyrical moments – almost modern at times, but not entirely so – and played by a septet that includes Ed Pazant on alto and flute, Burt Collins
on trumpet, George Cables on piano, and Jimmy Cleveland on trombone. Foster himself plays a bit of alto clarinet alongside his usual tenor – and titles include "Fly By Night", "Slug's Bag", "What's New From The Monster Mill", and "Hip Shakin".
(BMG music club pressing.)