Nicknamed The Wig. He was a versatile and well known jazz artist who was simply known for his trio with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Paul Humphrey. His 1st professional gig was as an accompanist for pioneering dark acting professional and comedian Stepin Fetchit. His collaborators included Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Kay Starr, Nat Ruler Cole, Lou Rawls, and Jimmy Witherspoon. He fathered a child, J.J., who turn into a bassist and consider the name Hassan Shakur. He made an appearance in an bout of the sitcom 227 starring Marla Gibbs.