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Jackie Paris Dies

Jackie Paris, a singer and guitarist who played with Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus and others, died June 17 in Manhattan of complications of bone cancer. He was 76.

Born in 1927 in Nutley, N.J., Paris began working in vaudeville song and dance routines as a child. He played guitar professionally with Nick Jerret’s band in New York City while still in his teens. After serving in the Army at the end of World War II, Paris returned to the Apple and began performing as singer with bands on 52nd Street. During this time he met bop innovator and saxophonist Charlie Parker, who brought Paris out on tour in 1948.

Though Paris doesn’t appear on any of Lionel Hampton’s recordings, he sang with the vibist’s band from 1949-’50. Prior to that Paris recorded four songs in 1947 as a leader, including his rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark,” for which he is best known.

In the 1950s Paris worked with Charles Mingus, appearing on some of the bassist’s Debut recordings; and in the 1970s Paris appeared on Mingus’ acclaimed album Changes Two.

In the ’60s and ’70s Paris could frequently be found working with his first wife, singer Anne-Marie Moss, from whom he was later divorced. Paris eventually remarried; his second wife, Joan, died in the early ’90s.

Paris recorded a number of albums as a leader for various labels including Impulse and EmArcy. On the last album he recorded, 2001’s The Intimate Jackie Paris, the singer accompanied himself on guitar.

Paris leaves no survivors.

Originally Published