Due to complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Bassist Jack Lesberg, who played with many of the jazz greats of the 1940s and '50s and had a distinguished career in symphonic orchestras, has died. He was 85.

Lesberg died of complications from Alzheimer's disease on Sept. 17, his daughter, Valerie Kaplan, told The New York Times.

A Boston native, Lesberg played violin in area clubs before switching to double bass in the late 1930s. He was a survivor of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, in which 492 people died in 1942.

Moving to New York City in 1943, Lesberg soon attracted attention. Jazz legends he played with included guitarist Eddie Condon, tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, clarinetist Benny Goodman, pianist Earl "Fatha" Hines, and vocalists Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan.

Lesberg played with Louis Armstrong starting in the late 1940s and toured with the Armstrong All Stars in the mid-1950s.

His career also included work with some of the world's top orchestras. Lesberg performed with the New York City Symphony Orchestra from 1945 to 1948, mostly under Leonard Bernstein's direction.

Lesberg was with the Sydney Symphony in Australia during the early 1970s.

His last noteworthy performance was in March 2003 at Mat Domber's March of Jazz in Clearwater, Fla.

AP LogoCopyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tagged