Über Junior Cook
While not an innovator, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook was a master of the Hard Bop style. His deeply swinging, blues-tinged improvisations made him an extremely popular soloist in the ‘50s and '60s. Though he enjoyed a solid solo career, Cook's most prominent gigs were as a sideman: he was featured on Horace Silver's early albums, including the immortal Song For My Father; in the late ‘60s, he was trumpet virtuoso Blue Mitchell's right-hand man. Cook didn't embark on a solo career until the 1980s, when he released several excellent albums in a similar, straight-ahead vein.