Discovered 30 years after its master tapes were thought to be lost, Frank Foster and The Loud Minority's "Well Water" (Piadrum) finds the two-time Grammy Award winning tenor saxophonist, composer, arranger and jazz educator leading a roaring big band performing his own compositions and those of Clifford Brown, Elvin Jones and Frank's brother-in-law, David Jones. A former member of Count Basie's orchestra (1953-1964) and Basie Band director (1986-1995), Frank Foster, who composed such Basie classics as "Shiny Stockings", "Blues In Hoss' Flat" , "Blues Backstage", "Back To the Apple" and "Four Five Six", is heard at an artistic peak on "Well Water", surrounded by 17 strongly supportive musicians in a clearly joyous and inspired performance. Recorded more than a decade before Foster took the helm of Count Basie's band, and shortly after he had been a member of Elvin Jones group, "Well Water" presents the sound of a forward thinking 1970s big band pushing the boundaries, with the legendary drummer firing the musicians to all-around great performances. Recorded on a blustery Manhattan weekend in the fall of '77 while a major hurricane threatened the City (and in between sessions for debut LPs from Blondie and the Ramones), "Well Water" documents a big band performing at the zenith of its powers as Foster and his 20-piece Loud Minority Big Band reveled in a thrilling atmosphere that is clearly felt and heard. After full restoration and remastering "Well Water" is finally ready for its proper unveiling. As an added bonus, the album's liner notes contain Foster's wonderfully detailed and vivid descriptions of the band member's contributions and interplay in the various album selections. "Well Water" is a double treasure, a historical document of a special weekend in 1977 and a thrilling testament to the talent, skill and perseverance of Frank Foster and The Loud Minority Big Band.
"Highly recommended." --All Music Guide - Scott Yanow 3/2007
"Incredible discovery in the vaults, nice save and great to hear Foster and Elvin Jones." --Downbeat Magazine - John Corbett 5/2007
"A portrait of a sure-footed band during a transitional moment in jazz culture." --The New York Times - Nate Chinen 3/2007