Rudy Jackson was Duke Ellington's clarinetist before being replaced by Barney Bigard. Jackson began playing clarinet seriously in high school while living in Chicago (both of his parents were musicians) and was gigging by 1918. He gained experience playing with Carroll Dickerson's Orchestra and King Oliver (1923-1924). After working with traveling shows and having a second stint with King Oliver (early 1927), Jackson was a member of Ellington's Washingtonians the second half of 1927. He brought in an "original" tune that Ellington named "Creole Love Call"; Ellington realized (too late) that it was actually Oliver's "Camp Meeting Blues." Jackson's unreliability in general led to him being fired. During 1929-1933 he worked on and off with Noble Sissle's Orchestra (including in Europe) and frequently traveled overseas, playing with Teddy Weatherford in India and Ceylon. He was in India during much of World War II, eventually returning to Chicago where he retired from playing and lived in obscurity during his final two decades. Rudy Jackson never led a recording date of his own.
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