Born: September 20, 1926 | Died: June 17, 2004 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Anyone can appreciate Jackie without having to be a music fanatic, a jazz head or without knowing anything about Jackie's life. However, his story is a remarkable part of the history of jazz.
He toured with and performed with the Charlie Parker Quintet which included Miles Davis, Max Roach, Duke Jordan and Tommy Potter.
Jackie introduced the first vocal recording of Thelonious Monk's classic standard Round Midnight. He was one of Charles Mingus' favorite singers, and was the first vocal artist on Mingus' label Debut, recording Portrait and Paris in Blue, which Mingus wrote for him.
He toured and performed with the Lionel Hampton Big Band for two years, where he was billed as The Voice. He also recorded with the original Dizzy Gillespie Big Band.
At one time or another he won just about every jazz poll and award, including the Downbeat, Playboy, Swing Journal and Metronome polls/awards. As a leader or a sideman he has worked with virtually every great jazz musician.
Jackie, whether in a club or on a recording, is able to so reach listeners, one at a time, that they in turn join their powers of concentration to his and so a microcosm is formed. He is an original! --Nat Hentoff