Live at Blues West 14
Time To Think
"Bel Assis" (SJPCD151)
If you like dreamy and inspiring soundscapes you will adore this 1988 album, the playing by all concerned (including the great Ray Russell guitaring on most tracks) is faultless whilst Mo Foster's compositions are melodic and immediately listenable. What could have become a muso's offering with its head in the ether is highly accessible, slightly new-agey, but always enjoyable. It's a damn shame Jazz FM in the UK has taken the soul route, because Mo Foster's blend of smooth jazz to rock grooves would sound good on radio, preferably mobile with the hood down, late night. A rare treat.
David Randall, get ready to rock (August 2003)
Bassist Mo Foster has appeared with nearly every musician known to man! Everyone from Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck via Phil Collins. This is a re-release of the 1988 album and it includes some big name musicians including Gary Moore, Rod Argent and drummer Simon Philips (Mike Oldfield/Toto/Judas Priest) amongst others.
Its an instrumental album to enjoy at your leisure that's not saying it is background music, though. The musicianship is top class as you'd expect and a mix of styles from jazz rock (So Far Away) to New Age (A Walk In The Country) through to AOR (The Light In Your Eyes). Hints of Pink Floyd on Analytical Engine, whilst the title track features a relaxing bass line from Mo Foster delightfully underlying Ray Russell's acoustic guitar passages.
If anyone remembers the Private Music label from the late 80s (home to Rod Argent, Tangerine Dream et al) much of the music on Bel Assis would fit onto that label's remit.
Angel Air are to be commended again on another fine re-release that may not trouble the charts but allows music fans to get a second chance to hear some lost classics. If you like to experience fine music and musicianship, then add this to your collection now!
Jason Ritchie, Classic Rock Newswire (August 2003)
...a forgotten minor classic. Clarity of sound and pinpoint accuracy of timing are just the start. The true appeal lies in its simple grace and emotional warmth.
...stands strong with some great musical pieces and great performances.
Jeff Beck website (September 2003)
Totally rivetting album full of superb musicianship...what I found, after listening to two dozen straight rock albums, was invigorating and inspiring...***
New Gandy Dancer, October 2003
...an album of outstanding craftsmanship...a collection of beautifully crafted instrumentals in which Mo's role as bassist is perfectly balanced...A welcome CD reissue.
Bass Guitar magazine, October 2003
a collection of excellent instrumentals recorded back in 1987 and 1988, and includes the great talents of Rod Argent, Gary Moore and Simon Phillips and others to great effect. The music is varied from the atmospheric, enigmatic to the funkier and is a treat for fans of instrumental music. Well worth seeking out.
Bernard Law, Classic Rock Society (Nov/Dec 2003)
The music features the cream of the UK's musicians, playing at their best on a superb set of originals...magnificent album
Jim Nugent, Pipeline (August 2003)
...well thought out, solidly constructed instrumental album. This isn't New Age, but an album that has a purpose...shows that Mo can produce an instrumental album that is interesting and enjoyable and not self-indulgent.
Feedback (Nov 2003)
It still stands up today as a document, both of Mo Foster's excellent compositional and playing skills, and of the playing and recording styles of the time.
Musician (MU)(Winter 2003/4)
...it's an often eclectic and constantly breathtaking piece of work, leaving one to wonder just how it managed to spend so long lost in the archive.
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine(Oct 2003)
...it is a very smooth and reflective collection with hints of jazz, fusion and World rhythms now and then. It's an album I reckon would be ideal for late evening or Sunday mornings. Eleven tracks in all with some gorgeous production and, as you should expect, excellent playing.
Modern Dance (March
"Southern Reunion" (SJPCD163)
This is a well-structured album with many different styles, but all of them fairly relaxed and rooted in the jazz which Mo is renowned for.
...this is a collection of some of the jazz rock greats...and it's to Foster's credit that he allows them free rein, which only enhances the album
Rock Society (November 2004)
...It's lovely really...clever and thoughtful...as you would expect from Mo (who's in fine form)...
Gandy Dancer (Issue 73)
This is definitely one for the late nite, with the lights down low and a glass in hand. It's a natural successor to the previous Angel Air reissue 'Bel Assis', and possibly a tad jazzier, and first appeared in 1991...some two decades on the music has lost none of its power of seduction
David Randall, get ready to rock (November 2004)
Live At Blues West
...this was an exercise in Mo getting some of his friends together to perform some light improvised jazz...Mo has a deftness of touch, particularly on a fretless bass...
Feedback (July 2006)
...for the most part this album is a percolating collection
of funk grooves, tender ballads and smooth jazz tunes. What's nice about
this recording is the live ambience really shines through...
outing for bass king Mo and his usual hardy band of super-skilled session
friends...great music to play and to listen to it, just relax and let it
Lovely fretless bass,
timeless piano, sweet saxophone - the tracks meander soothingly...Do
yourself a favour and chill out for an hour.
Beginning with its uptempo bass and guitar riffs, "The Importance Of Being Invoiced" is pure jazz-rock fusion, and its deft, energetic playing elicits vigorous applause in the intimate setting; the clever title refers to the working musician's difficulty getting paid. "Hot Buttered Cats" has a silky jazz/R&B feel, dynamically building off Foster's bass guitar lines. Foster earns songwriting credits on 10 compositions, including "Oh No," a challenging jazz piece that moves through several variations, and "Tradewinds," a catchy tune brightened by the Caribbean percussion background.
Joseph Tortelli Goldmine
...displays a rare breadth and imagination in both the choice
of material and the skill in which it is delivered...the atmospheric jazz
fills the air and carries you away to a better place...Class throughout.
Time To Think
...it is one for fans of
jazz rock. Lovely clear sound throughout...nice easy listening.
...the album has certainly stood the test of time...superb instrumental music, jazz influenced for sure but without ostentatious soloing or lengthy jamming. Mood music in the best sense of the expression, evocative and atmospheric...
Pipeline (November 2008)
Bass Themes (SJPCD349)
The tracks are perfect for easy listening or great in the car stereo while driving along the motorway.
www.music-news.com (April 2011)
For all their diversity, the pieces present a unified, integral front stricken with lyricism and showing master's supple touch be it in the faux big band jive of "Slink" or an Oriental shimmer of "Afternoon In Kyoto". Mo's accompanied by the equally virtuoso friends who know how to shape their flight to his vision, so Ray Russell chooses to be cosmic on the fusion of "Alone In New York City" and twangy on "Steam Driven", while Tony Hymas sprinkles the pavement with golden piano in "Goodbye Old Friend".
Still, it when the bass take a solo that the drift becomes most impressive like in the blues of "Jerry's Monet Bridge", the tango of "All Night Stake Out" or the cinematic "Staring Into The Abyss" where the depth is fathomed with low-end sonics. And then there's that rumble in "Good Cop, Bad Cop" and a shade of "Gimme Some Lovin'" urgency in the funky "Stomp", whereas humor slips into the breezy "South Coast Samba". Background music doesn't come more clever and enjoyable than this. ****/5
www.dmme.net (May 2011)
Excellent 30 track review of session bass master Mo on his sixth album covering material between the '80s and now...rather nice and highly polished set.
New Gandy Dancer (May 2011)
The 30 tracks draw on Foster's prolific studio career...
Bass Guitar magazine (May 2011)
Mo Foster has played on over 350 albums, and is one of the UK's most prolific session musicians., and new album 'Bass Themes' brings together 30 of his production pieces recorded between 1983 and 2009...Mo Foster is a talented musician and this album will no doubt appeal to hard core fans...
Nikk Gunns, www.getreadytorock.com (May 2011)
Foster's sixth solo album Bass Themes, released by Angel Air
Records, is an ingenious collection of production music that was
originally recorded and commissioned between 1983-2009...
Mo is joined by a stellar line-up of musicians including Ray Russell, Mark Isham, Tony Hymas and Ralph Salmins...Many tracks are simply too good for the library music tag...
Pipeline (July 2011)