From Las Vegas. Organ Master, and Acid Jazz Legend from the groups of George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Grant Green, and many more Live on Stage at Nighttown!
Featuring: Ronnie Foster-Hammond B-3 Organ, Jake Langley-guitar, & Jess Gopen-drums.
The trio includes Jake Langley, guitar and Jess Gopen, drums. Ronnie Foster is the music director for “Smokey Robinson Presents Human Nature” at the Venetian, but he emerged in the 70s as a jazz organist with albums on the Blue Note label and as a sideman on seven of George Benson's most popular albums, including “Breezin'.”
Langley held the guitar chair with the great organist Joey de Francesco for five years, so he is not only an excellent musician, but saturated in the style required for an organ trio. Gopen is Foster's go-to drummer, a veteran Las Vegas performer who has backed such performers as Clint Holmes and works in New York, San Francisco and other cities.
Born in Buffalo, Ronnie Foster began playing piano at the age of 4. By age 12 he had switched to Hammond organ and became a student of the jazz great Jimmy Smith. At age 15, Ronnie started playing with George Benson on weekends, while still in school. Ronnie began playing New York clubs. At 20 he got a call from New York that Saxophonist great Stanley Turrentine was looking for a new organist. He did one gig with Stanley.
Word of Ronnie was traveling fast. Guitar legend Grant Green heard that Ronnie was in New York. Green hired Ronnie to go on the road. This event would prove to be a turning point for Ronnie as it offered him his first recording session experience; Grant Green ‘Alive’. This important session led Ronnie to a recording contract of his own with the legendary record label: Blue Note Records. Ronnie’s first recording was titled ‘Two-Headed Freap’.
As a recording artist Ronnie’s solo discography consists of 5 albums for Blue Note, 2 albums for Columbia Records and 1 album for Projazz. Ronnie Foster recorded for Blue Note ‘The Two Headed Freap’, in 1972, then ‘Sweet Revival’ later that year, ‘Live at Montreux’ in 1973, ‘On the Avenue’ in 1974 and ‘Cheshire’in 1975. He then moved to Columbia, where he released ‘Love Satellite’ in 1978 and ‘Delight’ in 1979.
Ronnie’s solo style favored funky vamps instead of risky improvisation. Jazz purists dismissed Ronnie during the peak of his early career; the first half of the ’70s. However, as such a talented mainstream funk and soul-jazz keyboardist Ronnie was able to cultivate a very successful career as both a sideman (working frequently with George Benson, in particular) and producer. Beginning in the late ’70s, and throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Ronnie’s career and influence has spanned many varied artists and recordings as he began concentrating on session work. Some of those artists include: George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Earl Klugh, Jimmy Ponder, Stanley Clarke, Lalo Schifrin, Harvey Mason, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, David Sanborn, Lee Ritenour, The Temptations and Grover Washington, Jr.
Of late, Ronnie’s own records have been rediscovered by a new generation of both 90’s listeners and recording artist’s alike. Many of Ronnie’s records are currently used as source material for sample-heavy acid-jazz and hip-hop records.