Saxophone legend Marshal Royal played lead alto saxophone for the Count Basie Orchestra from 1951-1971. It is during this time that the Basie Band established itself as one of the definitive forces in big band jazz. It is also during this time that Royal's sound and style became the standards for hundreds of alto saxophonists who have followed him as professional jazz musicians.
Marshal was born in Sapulpa, Okla., in 1921 and was raised in Los Angeles. His father was a music teacher and bandleader, his mother played piano, and his brother Ernie is a well known jazz trumpteter. From the 1930's through the seventies he performed with Lionel Hampton, Earl Hines, and Duke Ellington besides his time with Basie. Upon leaving the road scene in 1971 he returned home to California and worked in all major recording studios. He has recorded with Frank Sinatra, Sara Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Linda Ronstadt, and many others. Most recently he also played for many motion picture scores including the hit, Dick Tracy.