Interview: Chubby Jackson


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Bassist Chubby Jackson is largely forgotten now, but in his prime he was one of the most dynamic band leaders in the late 1940s and '50s. For example, in 1949, his band featured Norman Faye, Al Porcino and Charlie Walp (tp); Mario Daone and Rob Swope (tb); Frank Socolow (as); Ray Turner and Al Epstein (ts); Marty Flax (bar); Teddy Charles (vib); Gene Di Novi (p); Red Kelly (b); Tiny Kahn (d,arr,vcl); Joe Harris (bgo,cga) and Chubby Jackson (cond,vcl). [Photo above of Chubby Jackson playing his five-string bass]

Here they are at New York's Royal Roost playing George Wallington's Godchild...

Here's Jackson in August 1958 leading Woody Herman's band: Bernie Glow, Marky Markowitz, Ernie Royal, Al Stewart and Nick Travis (tp); Bob Brookmeyer, Jim Dahl, Bill Elton, Tom Mitchell and Frank Rehak (tb); Sam Marowitz (as); Sam Most (fl,cl,as); Al Cohn and Pete Mondello (ts); Danny Bank (bar); Marty Napoleon (p); Chubby Jackson (b) and Don Lamond (d). The arrangement of Hail, Hail, The Herd's All Here was by Nat Pierce...

Now that you know a bit about Jackson's energy, humor and charisma, here's Monk Rowe's hour-plus conversation with Jackson from 1998...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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