Alex Foster’s Condition

A longtime stalwart of the Saturday Night Live house band and former member of Jack DeJohnette’s Directions and Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouth big band and sextet, saxophonist Alex Foster stretches considerably as player-composer on his first leader project in 15 years. “Litha’s Song” is a soothing bossa that features some of his most lyrical playing on both alto and soprano, along with a tasty wah-inflected solo by guitarist Costas Baltazanis and a beautifully flowing piano solo from Michael Wolff. Another high point for Foster is the Trane-inspired “Fathers and Sons,” where he digs deep on tenor and wails on soprano. Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts powers the dynamic “Suite 1,” a piece that evokes Jaco’s “Havona,” and is turned loose on the hard-charging “Wait a Minute!” Foster’s “3 Cursion” bounces along on James Genus’ bubbling “Black Market” bassline, and Wolff’s delicate “Tone Poem” and “Goodbye Too Late” showcase his intimate duo chemistry with Foster, who plays soprano.