Bassist Chubby Jackson, of Woody Herman’s famed “First Herd,” died Wednesday Oct. 1 at a hospice near San Diego. He was 84 and had cancer.
He played with greats including Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie and joined Herman’s band at the height of Herman’s popularity. Jackson was known for his musical talent as well as his comic presence.
“They really helped bridge the gap between swing — big-band music — and bebop,” said Dan Del Florentino, curator of the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad.
Grieg Stewart Jackson was born in New York City and raised on Long Island in a family of entertainers: His parents were in vaudeville and performed on Broadway. His first instrument was the clarinet; he picked up the bass as a teen.
He hosted a children’s TV show during the 1960s in Chicago and in New York, made studio recordings and continued to perform until a week before he died.
Jackson, who married three times, is survived by his wife of 20 years, Margot, and three children from a previous marriage: son Duffy, a jazz drummer, and daughters Myno, a singer, and Jaijai.