Random House, New York, 1985, Stated First Edition. SIGNED and inscribed by 13 members of the Count Basie Orchestra, on the recto and verso of the ffep. SIGNED and inscribed by tenor saxophonist, arranger and composer and new leader of the orchestra, Frank Foster, and additionally SIGNED by Sonny Cohn, Byron Stripling and Mike Williams, trumpets, Kenny Hing, John Williams, Danny Turner & Eric Dixon, saxophones, Ace Carter, piano, Bill Hughes & Clarence Banks, trombones, David Gibson, drums and Cleveland Eaton, bass, with many of the inscriptions invoking Basie's memory.
After the Count's death in April of 1984, the band had gone through a period of turmoil until 1986 when Foster, the talented saxophonist, arranger and composer and Basie alumnus, succeeded trumpeter Thad Jones as the leader of the Basie Orchestra. Although most accounts hold that Foster didn't take the helm until June of 1986, the annotation at the top of the signed page notes Feb '86 at the Algonquin [Hotel, NYC] as the occasion on which the signing took place. In any event, upon his arrival, Foster quickly revitalized the band with his new arrangements and compositions and the band became probably the most viable of all the "ghost bands" under his leadership for the next decade.
This wonderful memoir and oral history of the Count's extraordinary life in jazz, was published posthumously, shortly after Basie's death in April of 1984. His co author and friend, Albert Murray, is a distinguished African American novelist, social critic, essayist and author of the indispensable jazz history, Stomping the Blues.
In quarter black cloth over black boards, spine ends are slightly pushed, light age toning to page edges, slight shelf wear to bottom edges, previous owner and inscribee's blind stamp to title page, else about near fine, tight, clean, unmarked; in a like dust jacket, unclipped, lightly soiled, light edge creasing and wear to panel edges. A very uncommon group of jazz signatures, obtained just as the band was finding its feet again under a new and dynamic leader. J1769