Mince, Johnny (originally, Muenzen-berger, John Henry)

views updated

Mince, Johnny (originally, Muenzen-berger, John Henry)

Mince, Johnny (originally, Muenzen-berger, John Henry), jazz clarinetist, saxophonist; b. Chicago Heights, III., July 8, 1912. He was a powerful and brilliant soloist, which unfortunately was not obvious from many of his recordings. He joined Joe Haymes at the age of 17; went to N.Y. with Haymes in the early 1930s, and remained when the band worked under the leadership of Buddy Rogers. He was with Ray Noble’s original American band (spring 1935); briefly with Bob Crosby in 1936, resumed playing for Ray Noble until March 1937, then joined Tommy Dorsey until early in 1941. He spent a short spell in Bob Strong’s Band, then the U.S. Army service from spring of 1941. He played in the band for the This Is the Army show and did overseas tours (including playing in Britain in 1944). After demobilization he went into radio studio work, and was later featured regularly in television orchestras. He continued to play regularly during the 1960s, occasionally leading his own small band, and subbed for a few days with Louis Armstrong in April 1967. He guested at Dick Gibson’s Jazz Party in Colo. (1971). From the 1970s through mid-1980s, he toured Europe.


Summer of ’79 (1979). louis armstrong:Highlights from His Decca Years (1924); Priceless Jazz Collection (1935); American Icon (1947); Portrait of Benny Berigan (1932). irving berlin:Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1990). teresa brewer:Live at Carnegie Hall and Montreux (1978). tommy dorsey:Having a Wonderful Time (1935); Yes, Indeed! (1939); Saturday Afternoon at the Meadowbrook: 1940 (1940); Stop, Look and Listen (1994); Irish American Trombone (1996).

—John Chilton who’s who of jazz/Lewis Porter