Mention of Chubby Jackson’s album Chubby’s Back as a digital download brought this account of the session that produced it.
I was at the session in 1957 when this album was recorded. I was editor of Down Beat at the time, and a close friend of Chubby’s, and I had been asked to write the liner notes.
Bill Harris and Don Lamond, ex-Hermanites along with Jackson, had been flown in from Florida to do the date–the rest of the musicians were Chicagoans, all of whom were determined to prove that New York and Los Angeles were not the sole sources of top players.
The band, except for Harris and Lamond, had rehearsed the charts and were raring to go–Chubby had them ready.
The entire album was cut one night (a Sunday if I recall) in just two three-hour sessions that ended at about 1 a.m. The engineer was the legendary Bill Putnam, a true innovator of modern recording techniques.
Enthusiasm in the studio was contagious, with trumpeter Don Jacoby and Chubby being the most vociferous. Bill Harris, quiet and professorial as always, played beautifully. Lamond was inspirational, and the band responded blazingly to his drive. A couple of the studio playbacks that were unmistakably master takes brought cheers from the band as they ended.
I have attended a great many recording sessions in subsequent years, both as observer and as a producer, but I can’t recall another that had this sort of atmosphere. When it finished, nobody wanted to go home.
I’d love to hear it on CD, carefully mastered and transferred to digital. I think it would be great listening.
You will find a biography of Jackson here.