Photo by Lars Björn
At the end of a great evening: Rick Roe,
Marion Hayden, Frank Foster and Pete Siers
Frank Foster Graces Kerrytown
BY LARS BJÖRN
was privileged to be present at both sets of Frank Foster's concert
at Kerrytown Concert House on September 11. Foster was in great spirit
and this was immediately transmitted to his fellow musicians and the
audience. It was an evening with great artistry and warmth.
It was obvious from the start of "All the
Things You Are" that Foster was paired with a very congenial rhythm
section. Rick Roe on piano, Marion Hayden on bass and Pete Siers on
drums sounded good at first and by the time they played "Blues Walk"
at the end of the second show they were on fire. The trio was perfectly
comfortable with the medium relaxed grooves Foster often wanted and
also did fine on more up-tempo numbers like "Manhattan Fever" or "Cherokee."
As Foster was trying to pick his closing number, he asked the group:
"Dare I say Cherokee?" He did not regret doing it judging by the exciting
duel with Pete Siers towards the end of Charlie Barnet's classic. In
the second set, the band gave a wonderful version of Foster's classic
"Shiny Stockings," in which Pete Siers' big band experience at the Bird
of Paradise came in handy during the shout chorus.
Foster's full-bodied sound carried beautifully
at the Concert House without the use of amplification. On his
Ellington medley Foster stayed very close to the melody and seemed to
emphasize the tonal qualities of his horn. It was a treat to hear
this master improvise on this and other standards and several of his
own songs. I hope that he can come back to Ann Arbor next year. For
those who missed him; he will appear at Orchestra Hall in Detroit with
the Billy Taylor trio on November 12.