The Funeral of Milt Jackson

One of Detroit's greatest jazz artists, Milt Jackson, passed away on  October 9 in New Jersey. The Bergen Record of Hackensack, New Jersey, featured an account of his funeral in an article by Jim Beckerman on October 15.  The funeral was held October 14 in New York at Harlem's historic Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Among the crowd of 700 were: drummer Max Roach, bassist Milt Hinton, bassist Ray Brown, trombonist J.J.Johnson, trombonist Al Grey, singer Annie Ross, tenorist Stanley Turrentine, bassist Ron Carter, pianist Randy Weston, pianist Billy Taylor, tenorist Jimmy Heath, trumpeter Jon Faddis, drummer Kenny Washington, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Larry Ridley, singer Etta Jones, Atlantic records founder Ahmet Ertegun, and Newport Jazz Festival creator George Wein.

Bassist Percy Heath, one of the two surviving members of the Modern Jazz Quartet, was quoted as saying: "I loved him, and I'm very fortunate to have spent time with him." ABC newscaster Peter Jennings was also in attendance and it is probably no coincidence that ABC's evening newscast featured a segment on Jackson's contributions. It is not common for television media to pay attention to the passing of jazz artists. The service also featured Jimmy Heath playing "Round Midnight" and Tommy Flanagan on "Souvenir."

Jackson died at 76 of liver cancer and leaves behind Sandra, his wife of 41 years, daughter Chyrise, and three brothers, Alvin, Wilbur, and James.

A tribute to Jackson is planned for Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit on October 24, as we go to press.


Southeastern Michigan
Jazz Association


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