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JACK FOSTER III

Neo-Prog • United States


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Jack Foster III biography
US composer and guitarist Jack FOSTER III originally intended to pursue a career in music, and after graduating from San Mateo High School in 1977 he attended the Middlebury college, where he graduated with honors in 1981, with a degree in Music Composition and Theory.

However, events didn't happen as hoped back then, and pretty soon he found himself joining and eventually becoming a partner in the family real estate concern Foster Enterprises.

Some time after the millenium he rediscovered his passion for making music, which so far has lead to the release of the solo albums Evolution of Jazzraptor in 2003, Raptorgnosis in 2005, Tame Until Hungry in 2007 and Jazzraptor's Secret in 2008.

Foster is also active as a musician in six piece outfit Mojophonic and a member of vocal harmony group Full House.

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Jazzraptor's SecretJazzraptor's Secret
PROGROCK 2001
Audio CD$9.20
$8.10 (used)
Evolution Of JazzRaptorEvolution Of JazzRaptor
Import
Musea 2004
Audio CD$18.09
$11.59 (used)
Apple Jack MagicApple Jack Magic
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$15.18
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JACK FOSTER III discography


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JACK FOSTER III top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 7 ratings
Evolution of Jazzraptor
2003
3.08 | 7 ratings
Raptorgnosis
2005
3.35 | 9 ratings
Tame Until Hungry
2007
3.22 | 13 ratings
Jazzraptor's Secret
2008
3.00 | 6 ratings
Apple Jack Magic
2014

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JACK FOSTER III Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Evolution of Jazzraptor by FOSTER III, JACK album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.08 | 7 ratings

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Evolution of Jazzraptor
Jack Foster III Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars It is always useful to read press releases, especially when the CD in question is by an unknown artist. I hadn't heard of Jack Foster, but when I saw the names of Trent Gardner and Robert Berry then I put the CD into the player and started to take notice. Trent produced this debut album, and is of course most well-known for Magellan. The album was recorded at Robert Berry's (Three) studio and like Trent he couldn't stop himself from getting involved in most of the tracks in some way or another. This is an album that while it will appeal to many prog fans will also probably put quite a few of them off, because it actually progresses.

Jack feels that music shouldn't be pigeonholed and decides to cover many bases from jazz and blues right though to more normally recognised forms of prog through to some hard rock. Of course, with Trent involved there is always the room for a trombone or two. He has a voice that is perfectly suited to blues, fairly low but with loads of emotion a la Coverdale, and this gives his songs a distinct sound. There is plenty of space, as Jack lets the songs breathe. A particular favourite is "Feel It When I Sting" where he moves through different musical styles in a way that shows that he is home in all of them. There is only one real epic, "Nirvana In The Notes", which at 14 minutes long has everything going for it, including an extremely delicate piano introduction. This was originally independently released in the States until it was picked up by Musea, and I am sure that this is not the last we have heard of Mr Foster III.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

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 Tame Until Hungry by FOSTER III, JACK album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.35 | 9 ratings

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Tame Until Hungry
Jack Foster III Neo-Prog

Review by usa prog music

4 stars If a thousand monkeys pounding at a thousands keyboards will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare then can it be assumed that five hundred monkeys pounding on five hundred instruments will produce a half-way decent progressive rock album? Many progressive bands seem to subscribe to this notion. The industry is very saturated with artists trying to reinvent the wheel with notions that tracks do not have follow any conventions. Which is where I tend to attest that random sounds is not music.

This is not the case with Tame until Hungry. Many types of different music lovers should be able to find a song that fits their preferred genre. While the album mixes many different types of styles, incorporates several different instruments and vocal distortions, Tame Until Hungry never pushes the envelope too far. Each song is definitely music, and also well balanced music that preserves the traditional dignity of song structure while introducing new obscure twists.

Track one, 'No Tears Left for Cryin'', serves as a perfect microcosm for the rest of the album. Its somber beginning soon shifts into more powerful guitars and vocals. This opening track displays a series of mood changes that mirrors the album as a whole.

This concept should be blatantly obvious after the first notes of the second track plays. 'The Solution,' opens with fast tempo, demanding guitars, and vocals to match. This is progressive rock at its best. The 'in your face' rock style is woven together with an interplay of heavy chords and soaring keyboards that mix with voice changes and different instruments that create a truly full sound.

Once this six minute gem closes out, the mood changes again. 'Civilized Dog's' harmonica intro and southern porch stomping sound is another excellent 180' that the album takes. This track is a comfortable little folksy song that will stick in your head and is ideal to either sing along with it or enjoy as background in a coffee house.

Track four is an easier transition. Its somber jazzy sound provides a more fluid track transition. This song, 'One Dark Angel,' presents more of a mainstream sound than any of its neighboring tracks. However, little features, such as the soothing saxophone outro helps it maintain its uniqueness.

Track five, 'Mourning Glory', was the album's edgiest track. This was the only song where the change-ups felt distracted and sometimes forced. The perfect balance, which the rest of the album maintained, was a bit off kilter on this one.

The next song, 'Bloodstone', returns the album to a more controlled sound. This song unleashes cosmic keyboards that rise from acoustic instruments. The mood swings are nothing less than a wild ride, but somehow it presents a much more smoother sound than 'Mourning Glory.' 'Bloodstone' is a standout track, a keeper.

'Broken Hallelujah,' is another interesting check point in the album that will grab the listener's full attention. This song, the album's seventh track, comes at the listener with a deep, sincere, mystical, and spiritual sound. Organs rise from perfect simplicity and strong guitars provide excellent timed breaks, including a powerful outro. 'Broken Hallelujah,' with its strong guitars and trance-like vocals is hard to ignore.

Another song worth mention is track nine, 'Inside my Mind.' While at the surface it appears to be nothing more than a somber ballad with some minor tone changes there is still something very inviting about this song. It has an interesting element of 80ish sound with a great kaleidoscope of string plucking. 'Inside my Mind' is worth a listen if nothing else.

The album's finale is an odd choice. It is a little tune called 'Every time we say goodbye.' This song plays like a parody of an early 40's hit, a lost track from the Casablanca soundtrack even. Some may find this one out of place, but somehow it works as a fitting end.

The three tracks I left unmentioned: 'Heart and Mind,' 'Limbo and Flux,' and 'Rainbow Asylum' all lack the ability to standout. While they all maintained that inviting sound, which flows through the rest of the album, these songs do not have the uniqueness that the other tracks do.

These songs are repetitive and their mood swings start to feel predictable. This monotony is most noticeable with 'Heart and Mind' and 'Rainbow Asylum' that both employ the same heavy guitar outros, which has become a played out motif at this point in the album.

The above, however, are minor complaints about a well put together and diverse album. It's worth repeating that this album should have something to please just about every music lover. It may not be able to boast the claim that it reinvents music as we know it, but Tame Until Hungry remains Progressive Rock at it's best, the traditional elements of song with just enough random spices to keep the listeners' taste buds watering.

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 Raptorgnosis by FOSTER III, JACK album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.08 | 7 ratings

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Raptorgnosis
Jack Foster III Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's funny I suddenly realized Jack Foster isn't just some kind of one man show but more a real band with some pretty famous guys in it. Like Trent Gardner (Magellan) who I recognized in third track Koan with his distinctive voice. And looking at the actual line up I also became aware of Mr. Robert Berry who I know of his solo release Pilgrimage to a Point. So two famous proggers whilst Jack Foster himself is a name I never heard before.

I know him now and he is a good vocalist and a fairly nice songwriter as well. This second album is the only one I know so far and the style is more somewhere in between crossover and heavy prog to me although the songs are pretty versatile with some nice ballads as well.

So not a bad effort at all by Jack Foster but I wonder what the real proggers on our site would make of this album. I would call this release borderline prog and qualify it more as "good music". The musicianship is very much ok and so arfe the songs but I wouldn't want to call it an excellent addition for any prog rock collection. But who knows other reviewers would surprise me if they gave this album a chance. I will leave it at three this time (3,25).

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 Tame Until Hungry by FOSTER III, JACK album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.35 | 9 ratings

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Tame Until Hungry
Jack Foster III Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the only Jack Foster album I own and to my ears this is more of a Prog-Related affair. As a solo artist the focus here is on Jack's vocals and lyrics and both are outstanding. It's funny because after I listened to this the first time I felt that this just wasn't my kind of music. Well this album has really grown on me. This guy is very talented and he gets some help from MAGELLAN's Trent Gardiner as well as Robert Berry.

"No Tears Left For Cryin'" is a song that could have some success if it was played on FM radio. Strummed guitar and those soulful vocals combine with touching lyrics to create what i think is the best song on the album. I like how he adds Steve Miller's "Fly Like An Eagle" lyrics after 4 1/2 minutes, an album I owned on vinyl as a 16 year old. The song ends with Miller's words "...there's a solution". Which happens to be the title of the next track. "The Solution" opens with drums and bass. This gets fairly heavy actually as vocals join in. Guitar solo before 3 minutes. A "gospel vocal section" comes in around 6 minutes to end it. "Civilized Dog" is about Jack's dog. A cute song with some harmonica. "One Dark Angel" opens with strummed guitar and vocals. It gets fuller and we get some atmosphere too. Sax after 3 minutes to end it.

"Mourning Glory" is heavy at times and also made me think of RUSH for some reason. "Bloodstone" is my second least favourite after the final track. It does get better as it plays out though. "Broken Hallelujah" is a top three. Anytime I hear that "hallalujah" sung it usually moves me. It's powerful.The guitar after 4 1/2 minutes is emotional like the lyrics. "Heart And Mind" has some great lyrics and a powerful sound at times. Ripping guitar after 4 1/2 minutes. "Inside My Mind" is the other top three tune for me. It sounds really good after 1 1/2 minutes and again the lyrics are so meaningful. Great chorus as well. "Limbo And Flux" and "Rainbow Asylum" are good but nothing more. "Every Time We Say Goodbye" is by far my least favourite. Not a fan of this style, expecially the vocal style.

Overall this is a pretty good album.

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 Jazzraptor's Secret by FOSTER III, JACK album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.22 | 13 ratings

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Jazzraptor's Secret
Jack Foster III Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US artist Jack Foster III, apparently nicknamed Jazzraptor, is out with his fourth album.

I'm not familiar with his previous excursions, but this latest venture is at least partially a very interesting encounter with this self-titled predatorial jazzfan. The most intriguing aspect of this album is the fact that most people will have a hard time tracking down the jazz of course, with lush melodic backdrops more akin to mainstream rock and slightly more embellished varieties of these from the neo-prog family a much more common feature; alongside majestic build-ups from the symphonic rock side of progressive musical universe.

Touches of bluesrock as well as jazz does make the odd appearence though; but for better or worse; depending on musical taste; these contrasting musical elements are slicked down in the overall mix and production.

The end result is a highly melodic, slick affair with a strong mainstream tinge to a stylistic expression blending elements of jazz with listener-friendly progressive rock - music highly suitable for daytime FM radio in my personal opinion.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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