Frank Foster, saxophonist, composer and longtime Basie sideman, is dead at 82

Frank FosterMusic IndustryGeorge BensonGrammy AwardsCount BasieDocumentary (genre)

Frank Foster, who played tenor and alto saxophone in Count Basie's Orchestra for several periods beginning in 1953, passed away today at age 82.

Word of Foster's death spread quickly on Twitter as a host of jazz musicians and fans lamented his passing. Foster, also a composer, flautist and bandleader, served a sideman for Elvin Jones, Donald Byrd and Earl Coleman. Foster's best known original composition was the Basie hit "Shiny Stockings," which is also the title of a documentary film about Foster's life.

Foster won two Grammy Awards during his lifetime, the first for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal in 1987 for Diane Schuur's "Deedles' Blues" and the second for Best Instrumental Arrangement, Jazz Category, for George Benson's "Basie's Bag" in 1988.

In 2001, Foster suffered a stroke that left him unable to perform other than for a few dates. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Cecilia Foster, who served as his manager.



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