I just read your obituary of the "Count" (Conte), on EJAZZNEWS. Conte was one of the most genuine and fun musicians I've had the pleasure of knowing. We recorded an album in the summer of 2000 - The Bud Shank Sextet - "Silver Storm," featuring Conte and Bill Perkins. This summer (2001) we recorded another of the group (though Jay Thomas subbed for Perk due to a family emergency), and are just finishing up mixing and mastering of it. We did the recording during the first week of August and Conte seemed fine and in good spirits - no indication to any of us that he had any problems - he was definitely at the top of his game from a playing standpoint. After the sessions, Conte told Bud that he thought this could be some of his best work ever. The early mixes of the tracks are wonderful. I don't know if Conte did any more recording after this session and we heard he wasn't doing well sometime in late October or early November. Bud took the news very hard - Conte was like family, as he and Bud have been working together since the 40's. Just thought you'd like to know a little about the Count in the present.