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Scamps mainstay Jackson dead at 86

Nov. 22, 2006 at 7:33 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- After enjoying the longest continuous run of any member of the Missouri jazz ensemble, the Scamps, saxophonist Art Jackson has died at 86.

The tenor saxophonist first joined the Kansas City jazz group in 1949 and maintained his playful onstage nature at the Scamps' performances until his death Sunday, the Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

Despite his advanced age, Jackson remained dedicated to the band, performing up to five nights a week at various Kansas City clubs.

"Where most musicians hung up their horns, he was still playing," Scamps bassist Lucky Wesley said. "Even just a couple weeks ago he was still talking about playing. He never gave up.

"He was one of the greatest musicians that I have ever had the pleasure of playing with," he added. "He knew so many songs by memory. It was hard to stump him."

The Star said Jackson, who attended high school with jazz great Charlie Parker, is survived by his fiancee, Mason Byrd, two daughters and three sons.

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