Thursday, December 12, 2013

Remembering Bobby Jackson

The first year I attended the Detroit Jazz Festival, I really felt like the new kid on the block and tried to get to know as many people as possible. The first morning there, I went on a chartered tour of the Motown Museum, the actual "Home of the Hits" building on West Grand Blvd. One of my fellow travelers was a guy with his wife and young son, who seemed to know a lot about music history, not only at Motown, but with an all-encompassing knowledge. And he wasn't high-and-mighty about it either. He was very enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with people. That guy's name was Bobby Jackson, and it turns out, he didn't live too far from me. He lived in Cleveland.

Last night I was perusing Facebook and saw a link to a JazzTimes obit on guitarist Jim Hall. When I clicked on that link and started reading it, my eyes caught another link in the corner about "Veteran Jazz Broadcaster Bobby Jackson dies."

No, I thought. It can't be him. That guy is too full of life to die.

And as you can probably guess by now, it was him.

More than the passing of Jim Hall, more than the passing of Pittsburgh trombonist bandleader Jack Purcell, Bobby's death shook me. He was too young. Too influential. 57 is too young to go. His son is now only 10-years old.

That's about all I can say about it. My coping mechanism is to remember the good things about a person and to how many people he touched. So if you haven't seen the article or didn't know who he was until now, please read this. If nothing else, it shows how much he did and how he took that knowledge of music and put it to good use, sharing it with as many people as he could.

Rest in peace, Bobby.


Anonymous said...

I feel exactly as you do. Bobby was one of the most well educated jazz listeners I know, and I too met him in Detroit. His ears were broad, his instincts true, his awe of the music unending. What a beautiful soul he was--and is.

Unknown said...

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