An expert hard bop tenor who tended to be overshadowed by more innovative contemporaries, Junior Cook was always a solid improviser.
Born in Pensacola, Florida, July 22, 1934, Cook played with Dizzy Gillespie in 1958, however he gained some fame for his longtime membership in the Horace Silver Quintet (1958-1964). When he and Blue Mitchell left the popular band, Cook played in Mitchell's quintet (1964-1969). Later associations included Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, George Coleman, Louis Hayes (1975-1976), Bill Hardman (1979-1981), and the McCoy Tyner big band.
In addition to many appearances as a sideman, he also recorded as a leader for Jazzland (1961), Catalyst (1977), Muse, and SteepleChase.
Junior Cook passed away in New York City, on February 3, 1992.
Scott Yanow —All Music Guide