Image for Count Basie Orchestra Saxophonist Dies At 82

Count Basie Orchestra Saxophonist Dies At 82

Written by Barnaby Smith on July 28, 2011

Frank Foster, among the last remaining relics from a veritable golden era of jazz, has died at the age of 82.

The Village Voice reports that Foster, a saxophonist, flautist and composer, died at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia.

A tenor and soprano sax player, Foster is arguably best known for his work with the Count Basie Orchestra, which he joined in 1953 after a stint in the army. He left the orchestra in 1970 to become a bandleader himself, and also had a successful career in music education, working in schools. He did return to the Count Basie Orchestra in the 80s after Basie’s death, and won Grammys with them.

Since suffering a stroke in 2001, his musical output had been restricted.

Here is Foster in an appearance from 1960 with Basie:

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