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Al Foster

Al Foster

American musician
Al Foster
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American musician
Is Musician Drummer Composer Jazz musician
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 18 January 1943, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Age 78 years
Star sign Capricorn
Drum kit
The details (from wikipedia)


Al Foster (born January 18, 1943) is an American jazz drummer. Foster played with Miles Davis during the 1970s and was one of the few people to have contact with Davis during his retirement from 1975–1981. Foster also played on Davis's 1981 comeback album The Man with the Horn. He was the only musician to play in Davis's band both before and after his retirement. He has toured extensively with Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson.


Foster was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in New York. He began playing drums at the age of 13 and made his recording debut on Blue Mitchell's The Thing to Do at age 20.

He joined Miles Davis's group when Jack DeJohnette left in 1972, and played with Davis until 1985. In his 1989 autobiography, Davis described the first time he heard Foster play live in 1972 at the Cellar Club in Manhattan: "He [Foster] knocked me out because he had such a groove and he would just lay it right in there. That was the kind of thing I was looking for. Al could set it up for everybody else to play-off and just keep the groove going forever."

Foster began composing in the 1970's, and has toured with his own band, including musicians such as bassist Doug Weiss, saxophonist Dayna Stephens, and pianist Adam Birnbaum.


As leader

As sideman

With Kenny Barron

  • Landscape (Baystate, 1984)
  • Super Standard (Venus, 2004)

With Walter Bishop Jr.

  • Hot House (Muse, 1977/78 [1979])

With Joanne Brackeen

  • Havin' Fun (Concord Jazz, 1985)
  • Fi-Fi Goes to Heaven (Concord Jazz, 1986)

With Donald Byrd

  • Getting Down to Business (Landmark, 1989)

With Miles Davis

  • In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall (Columbia, 1973)
  • Big Fun (Columbia, 1974)
  • Get Up with It (Columbia, 1974)
  • Dark Magus (Columbia, 1974)
  • Agharta (Columbia, 1975)
  • Pangaea (Columbia, 1976)
  • The Man with the Horn (Columbia, 1981)
  • We Want Miles (Columbia, 1981)
  • Star People (Columbia, 1983)
  • Decoy (Columbia, 1984)
  • You're Under Arrest (Columbia, 1985)
  • Amandla (Warner Bros., 1989)
  • Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (Columbia Legacy, 2015)

With Tommy Flanagan

  • The Magnificent Tommy Flanagan (Progressive, 1981)
  • Giant Steps (Enja, 1982)
  • Nights at the Vanguard (Uptown, 1986)

With Red Garland

  • Feelin' Red (Muse, 1978)

With Dexter Gordon

  • Biting the Apple (SteepleChase, 1976)

With Jimmy Heath

  • New Picture (Landmark, 1985)

With Joe Henderson

  • An Evening with Joe Henderson (Red, 1987)

With Shirley Horn

  • I Remember Miles (Verve, 1998)

With Bobby Hutcherson

  • In the Vanguard (Landmark, 1987)

With Illinois Jacquet

  • The Soul Explosion (Prestige, 1969)

With Duke Jordan

  • Duke's Delight (SteepleChase, 1975 [1976])
  • Lover Man (SteepleChase, 1975 [1979])

With Yusef Lateef

  • The Doctor is In... and Out (Atlantic, 1976)

With Dave Liebman

  • Light'n Up, Please! (Horizon, 1976)
  • Pendulum (Artists House, 1978)

With Ronnie Mathews

  • Roots, Branches & Dances (Bee Hive, 1978)

With Blue Mitchell

  • The Thing to Do (Blue Note, 1964)
  • Down with It! (Blue Note, 1965)
  • Heads Up! (Blue Note, 1967)
With Tete Montoliu
  • I Wanna Talk About You (SteepleChase, 1980)

With Frank Morgan

  • Yardbird Suite (Contemporary, 1988)
  • Reflections (Contemporary, 1989)
  • Mood Indigo (Antilles, 1989)

With Art Pepper

  • New York Album (Galaxy, 1979 [1985])
  • So in Love (Artists House, 1979)

With Sonny Rollins

  • Don't Ask (1979)
  • Love at First Sight (1980)
  • Here's to the People (1991)
  • Sonny Rollins + 3 (1995)

With Bud Shank

  • This Bud's for You... (Muse, 1984)

With Lonnie Liston Smith

  • Make Someone Happy (Doctor Jazz, 1986)

With McCoy Tyner

  • Horizon (1979)
  • Quartets 4 X 4 (1980)
  • It's About Time (with Jackie McLean, 1985)
  • New York Reunion (1991)
  • McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane (1997)
  • McCoy Tyner with Stanley Clarke and Al Foster (1998)

With Cedar Walton

  • Animation (Columbia, 1978)
  • Soundscapes (Columbia, 1980)
  • Seasoned Wood (HighNote, 2008)

With Larry Willis

  • A New Kind of Soul (LLP, 1970)
  • Inner Crisis (Groove Merchant, 1973)
  • My Funny Valentine (Jazz City, 1988)
  • The Big Push (HighNote, 2006)

With Steve Kuhn

  • The Vanguard Date with Ron Carter (Sunnyside/E1, 1986)
  • Life's Magic with Ron Carter (Sunnyside/E1, 1986)
  • Seasons of Romance (Postcards, 1995)
  • Live at Birdland with Ron Carter (Blue Note, 2006)

With others

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Mar 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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