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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