We join the community in sending condolences to the family of Bob “Moose” Jackson, elder statesman of jazz here in Winnipeg, who passed away at the end of January. He was 84.
“Moose” played the upright bass, and he welcomed me here when I arrived in 2003. He was a generous, happy, kind spirit with a big heart and a quarter note that just would not stop. I figure “Moose” must refer to his big paws gripping that bass!
“Moose” Jackson was the first call bassist in the city for decades, and part of the network of musicians who created and supported a thriving jazz scene here. For years, he played brunch at the Fort Garry Hotel and was a regular at the Palm Room with pianist Jose Poneira.
I mostly knew “Moose” through the George Reznik Trio. Even after fifty years—or whatever their count was in my early years here—“Moose” and George and Bill McMahon had so much bounce and happiness in their playing. Apparently they got started playing in 40s dance bands, and you could always hear that pulse. I know they played a lot all over the city, but I’m most impressed that they played at The Pemby every Saturday afternoon for something like 25 years. That’s just remarkable!
As he said in a Free Press interview a dozen years ago, “You don’t really choose to play music, it chooses you. I know that’s an old hackneyed expression, but I’m no damn good at anything else.”
I’m glad for all of us in this city that music chose “Moose.” We’ll miss him.