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Johnny Mince

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Biography

One of the top clarinetists of the swing era, Johnny Mince never received much recognition beyond that of his fellow musicians because he came to maturity during the era of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, and did not lead his own bands. Mince worked with Joe Haymes Orchestra from 1929-34, was with Ray Noble's American band for two stints from 1935-37, spent a short period with Bob Crosby in 1936, and then gained his greatest fame during his period with Tommy Dorsey from 1937-41 as one of the stars on Dorsey's Clambake Seven recordings. After time spent in the military (1941-45) during which he was able to play music, Mince became a studio musician. During the next few decades he also taught and could be heard in swing-oriented combos in the New York area. He played with Dorsey's ghost band (1974), the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra (1976), Yank Lawson, and Bob Haggart (including short periods with the World's Greatest Jazz Band), and toured Europe with the Great Eight in 1983. Mince kept busy in later years by playing at classic jazz festivals until bad health forced his retirement. In addition to his records with Dorsey, Mince recorded in many settings including with Red Norvo (1935), the first Glenn Miller session (1935), Noble and Lawson. As a leader, Mince recorded albums for Monmouth Evergreen (1979), Jazzology (1980) and Fat Cat's Jazz (1982). ~ Scott Yanow

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