Frank Foster (musician)

Frank Foster ( born September 23, 1928 in Cincinnati, Ohio; † July 26, 2011 in Chesapeake, Virginia ) was an American jazz musician (tenor and soprano sax, arrangement and composition ), the most of his time with Count Basie is known.

Life and work

Foster studied at Wilberforce University and began in 1949 to play in Detroit with local musicians such as Wardell Gray and Elvin Jones. After military service ( 1951 ) he went in 1953 to the Count Basie Orchestra, in which he played (as well as Frank Wess, but rather in the style of Lester Young, while Wess played more on the type of Coleman Hawkins ) Tenor Saxophone. He also arranged for Basie and composed pieces such as Shiny Stockings, Blues Backstage, Down for the count. He also played in sessions outside the band, eg with Thelonious Monk 1954. 1961 he took part in Elmo Hope Album Homecoming! with. After leaving Count Basie in 1964, he composed, inter alia, for Sarah Vaughan and Frank Sinatra. 1970 to 1972 he played with Elvin Jones, from 1972 to 1975 with the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra. He also founded his own groups (as well as a quintet with Frank Wess, 1983) and the Living Color and The Loud Minority big band with which he toured Europe and Japan. In 1985 he toured Europe with the quintet of Jimmy Smith. 1986 to 1995 he succeeded Thad Jones as head of the Basie Big Band. Then he revived his Loud Minority Big Band The ( with pianist Danny Mixon ). He last lived in Chesapeake (Virginia ), where he died as a result of kidney failure in 2011.

In 2002 he received the Jazz Masters Fellowship of the state NEA Foundation.

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