Dalbert Bright

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The reedman whose surname could be a tempo indicator is associated with the Chicago jazz scene, making him a member of a large mob. Dalbert Bright was a transplant to the Windy City from an area known…
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The reedman whose surname could be a tempo indicator is associated with the Chicago jazz scene, making him a member of a large mob. Dalbert Bright was a transplant to the Windy City from an area known as "somewhere in Kansas," a phrase best-pronounced with a strong Midwest lilt. At 19 he began gigging with talented keyboardist and composer Tiny Parham, and this is the point where the light in Bright's career room gets switched on by the busy anthropologists of the Chicago scene. In the first half of the '30s he played with Frankie Jaxon, a singer/songwriter back in the days when this type wasn't treated so gingerly; in fact, Jaxon's nickname was "half-pint." The bandleader Erskine Tate hired Bright for both alto sax and clarinet positions in his group in 1933, and the following year he began working with Carroll Dickerson, who like Tate, played some violin along with his bandleading.

Vivacious drummer Zutty Singleton collaborated with Bright in 1935. Then along came Albert Ammons, whose rich, boogie-soaked ensemble the Rhythm Kings wound up creating an important part of Bright's discography. This band held forth at the attractive Club de Lisa for several years in the mid-'30s. In the summer of 1937, the reedman was on tour with Horace Henderson, coming out of this band with the determination to organize his own outfit. He remained encouraged with this endeavor throughout the '40s, breaking up and starting new versions of his group with the determination of a man who understands that no matter what, the future of his ensemble will be Bright. By the '50s, Bright was only playing on a part-time basis. There do not seem to be any recordings of groups featuring Bright as a leader.