American jazz double-bassist who collaborated with some of the most important names in jazz, including Billie Holiday and Milt Jackson. He was also the first African-American manager in the world of jazz and pop, managing artists like Shirley Horn and Cannonball Adderley.
He was born in New Orleans and left for Chicago in 1944. He later moved to New York City, where his jazz career began to take off.
He was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006.
He was survived by his wife, writer Devra Hall Levy.
He was a member of pianist George Shearing's band, The George Shearing Quartet.