Guitarist who has been equally active as a session musician as he has in musical theatre. Case in point, the original cast recording of The Me Nobody Knows, with music by Edward Strauss, released in 1970.
In January 1973, he was involved in the short-lived production of Tricks, that ran a whopping six days. More successful was his performance Live at Carnegie Hall with Shirley Bassey, later that same year. At least, Tricks enjoyed a run of almost a week: Truckload, intended for opening on 11th September 1975, never made it out of the weigh station.
Jack couldn’t miss on his 1978 collaboration with Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on the Sesame Street album, On the Street Where We Live: Block Party! He was also one of various artists on 1979’s Sesame Disco, the same year that had him playing for the likes of Aretha Franklin on La Diva and Frank Sinatra on his boxed set, Trilogy. His 1980 collaboration with Robert Cotter was Timeless, and that same year he also shared Suspicions with Houston Person. In 1985, he was in the studio with John Tropea recording NYC Cats Direct, released the following year.
He opened the new decade by administering Good Medicine with Doc Severinsen, with whom he had performed as a member of The Tonight Show band since the age of twenty-one. In 1993, he appeared on Cuba Gooding’s album, Meant to Be in Love. Three years later, he offered acoustic guitar support on Liza Minnelli’s CD, Gently. It was back to the boards in 1997 for the original Broadway cast recording of King David. In 1998, he teamed up with veteran R&B vocalist Chuck Jackson on I’ll Never Get over You, played guitar on Jung’s The Gift, and helped Lisa Molina assure My Love Will Be There. On 17th December 1998, he was back in the orchestra pit for Parade, which enjoyed a modest run of about two months.
He teamed up with Joe McMahon on Second Hand Heart for Sale and Broadway actor/singer Mandy Patinkin in 2000 for Kidults, released the following year. In the meantime, he was also working on another Broadway musical, Seussical, which ran from 30th November 2000 through 20th May 2001. Five months later, he performed similar duties for By Jeeves, which ran out of gas on 30th December 2001. Somewhere in there, he found time to help Philip Chaffin ask the musical question, Where Do I Go from You? On 9th February 2002, he performed in concert with Kristen Chenoweth at Wolf Trap’s The Barns in the District of Columbia.
In 2002, he was part of the Oscar-winning musical, Chicago, and for a bit of nostalgia, the soundtrack of Thoroughly Modern Millie was re-released on CD, featuring Jack on banjo, guitar and ukulele. On 14th August 2005, he was involved in another short-lived original musical, Lennon, which ran just over a month. The same year, The Embers released Beach Music Super Collaboration on CD. In 2006, Jack made a guest appearance on Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s album, Press Color, appeared on the original Broadway cast recording of The Drowsy Chaperone, and returned to Carnegie Hall, this time in support of Barbara Cook. The 18th November concert was captured in all of its CD glory in 2007. Jack re-united with Sesame Street veteran Bob McGrath on Christmas Sing Along, and in 2008, The Embers released an album with a title that could well sum up Jack’s career: The Show Must Go On.
Frank Sinatra recordings
That’s What God Looks Like To Me (Stan Irvin/Lan O’Kun)
Reprise RPS 49233 (XNY2101S) (US 45)
Theme from “New York, New York” (Fred Ebb/John Kander)
Reprise RPS49233 (XNY 2103 S) (US 45)
Jack jamming with Bob Rose..