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Long Live the Chief

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Album Review

After Count Basie's death, his orchestra went through an expected period of turmoil, almost declaring bankruptcy and having a new short-term leader (the late trumpeter Thad Jones). By 1986 its fortunes had improved and under the leadership of tenor-saxophonist Frank Foster it has become the only "ghost" orchestra to still play viable music after the death of its leader. Long Live the Chief was recorded only weeks after Foster assumed command, but already his arrangements and leadership were giving fresh life to this great jazz institution. In addition to remakes of "April in Paris, " "Lil' Darlin', " "Corner Pocket" and "Shiny Stockings, " there was already some new material in the band's books and this enjoyable CD shows just how strong the orchestra was even during this period of transition.

Long Live the Chief, Count Basie Orchestra
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