Junior Cook was a hard bop tenor saxophone player.
Cook was born in Pensacola, Florida. After playing with
Dizzy Gillespie in 1958, Cook 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
(1979-1989), and the McCoy Tyner big band. In addition to
many appearances as a sideman, Junior Cook recorded as
a leader for Jazzland (1961),
Muse, and SteepleChase.
Despite the fact that he gained some fame between bop
fans during the last years of his life, Junior Cook died alone
in his apartment in New York City, according to the
testimony of the Sun Ra trumpeter Mra Oma.
From the liner notes, Junior's Cookin'
It has become common practice for a sideman to record as
a leader after having been with a group for a short time.
There have been cases where a sideman did more albums
than his regular group leader in the course of a year