“Blue Note has always stood for The Art of Jazz. I grew up on Blue Note listening to all the greats. I’m over the moon to be back with the family at the musical dinner table.”
– Ronnie Foster
Though it’s been 36 years since his last album, you already know Ronnie Foster’s kinetic keyboard sound from a number of classic albums and solo works, sideman sessions, and hip-hop samples. From “Breezin’” with George Benson to “Songs in The Key of Life” with Stevie Wonder, Robbie Robertson to A Tribe Called Quest, Ronnie’s energetic, soul-funk style reaches across generations and genres to make him one of just a handful of jazz organ masters.
Growing up in Buffalo, Ronnie began banging piano keys before he could reach the pedals and was schooled in the classical style – until a chance encounter with a Hammond B-3 changed everything. “I was hooked,” he says. Intrigued by jazz at the age of 12, he cold-called legendary organist Jimmy Smith asking for advice or lessons and began studying with the master whenever he toured through town. Smith introduced him to George Benson and the two became fast friends and band mates. Bigger gigs and stages with the likes of Stanley Turrentine and Grant Green led to a recording contract and eight great albums before Ronnie stepped away from the spotlight to focus on session work and producing.
His aptly titled new album “Reboot” marks his momentous return to the Blue Note family and exactly 50 years since the BN release of his classic debut album “Two Headed Freap.” The new collection is a fresh-start feast of Hammond hum – seasoned with heartfelt homage to the sounds and souls that shaped his inimitable style. Standout tracks include the title opener, with its rock-steady groove, punchy melody – and not one, but two bridges; “Isn’t She Lovely,” sets his old-friend Stevie’s classic to a backbeat shuffle; “Carlos” rocks a Latin-tinged tribute to his pal Santana; and “Swingin’” earns its name like a last-call jam on a hot Saturday night. With his head bowed and smiling and his nimble hands busy, Ronnie Foster is back!