Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Mancuso, Roger (John Roger Mancuso)
Mancuso, Roger [John Roger Mancuso], drums; b. Bayonne, NJ, 13 1941. His mother, Helen Marie Ladzinski Mancuso, was born in Scranton, PA April 1, 1916. His father, John Baptist Mancuso, was born in Naples, Italy, January 13, 1919. His brother, Richard James John Mancuso (last name later changed to Taylor), born in Jersey City, NJ, January 6, 1936, played flute and bass.
Roger started playing drums at age 14. Mostly self-taught, he studied with Lennie Tristano in the mid-sixties. He sessioned and worked in and around Manhattan in the late fifties and early sixties.
After taking one lesson with Tristano, he was hired for Lennie's historic band with Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh and Sonny Dallas, performing from 1964-1968 mostly at the Half Note in New York City. He also toured with this band in the U.S. and Canada. He continued to perform with Lennie through 1974. During that period and on through the 80s, he worked with Warne Marsh, his last job with Marsh being at Eddie Condon's in New York City, 1982-1983. He also performed with Sal Mosca. In 1975, he recorded the album Perception with pianist Connie Crothers and bassist Joe Solomon, released on the SteepleChase label. This album has been reissued several times, each time receiving critical acclaim. At that time he was presented in several concerts with Connie Crothers by Lennie Tristano. In 1975, he was part of a concert at Carnegie Recital Hall that featured Warne Marsh, Connie Crothers and Joe Solomon. In the late 1970's he was active playing in the New York City area with, among others, such artists as Lee Konitz, George Coleman, Joanne Brackeen, Jimmy Knepper and Phil Woods. Also in the 1970s he worked with Lenny Popkin and Connie Crothers, playing college concerts at Sarah Lawrence College and Bucks County College. He was part of a quartet with Popkin and Crothers and bassist Eddie Gomez in the mid-80s, working at Eddie Condon's, the West End Cafe and the Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1982, he was part of the Tal Farlow trio, working in the Jersey Shore area. In 1992, he toured Holland, performing at the Shu Jazz Festival with the Jimmy Halpern Quintet. Mancuso was featured in the Richard Tabnik quartet, which appeared in the New York City area from 1992-1995. This quartet recorded Life at the Core featuring Andy Fite on guitar and Calvin Hill on bass. He appears on vocalist Bob Casanova's CD From the Inside Out 1994. He recorded duo with Connie Crothers, Deep into the Center 1995. He is on a CD by singer Harry Schulz, Havin' a Ball released in 1999. In 2000, he performed trio with Connie Crothers and Ratzo Harris at Birdland, New York City.
He is currently a member of a quartet with Connie Crothers, Richard Tabnik and various bassists. From 1999-2000 the quartet performed at Cleopatra's Needle in New York City and at Gulliver's, Montclair, NJ. This quartet has performed at Birdland in New York City with Ratzo Harris in 2000, with singers Linda Satin and Harry Schulz. Under the band name CCQt, with bassist Sean Smith, this quartet released a CD, Ontology in 2000. The band performed, with Ratzo Harris, at Roulette in New York City in 2000. In 2001, they appeared in Albuquerque, NM at The Outpost, with poet Mark Weber. In 2001, they performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in New York City. In 2002, they went on tour with Andy Fite, guitar, added to the band. They traveled to Estonia, performing in Town Hall in Tallinn and the University at Tartu, and performed at Jazzklub Fasching in Stockholm, Sweden. The quartet performed in New York City at Lotus Music and Dance, under the auspices of "Cooler in the Shade," with poet Mark Weber. In 2003, presented by New Artists Records at Faust Harrison Pianos, New York City, the quartet will perform with Harry Schulz. They are also scheduled to perform at Small's in New York City. Roger has also recently performed in Birdland with pianist Liz Gorrill, tenor saxophonist Charley Krachy and Ratzo Harris.
Mancuso is also an accomplished painter who has shown his work in several well-known galleries in Manhattan and the New York metropolitan area.
Two Duo recordings with Lennie Tristano (1966); Quartet with Warne Marsh, Lennie Tristano, Sonny Dallas (1966); Warne Marsh Quartet, Carnegie Recital Hall, NYC (1975); Duets with Connie Crothers (1988-1994); Duets with Liz Gorrill, (1988-89, 1996-97); Trio with Connie Crothers and Ratzo Harris, Birdland, NYC (2000); Trio with Liz Gorrill, Harris, Birdland, NYC (2000); Quintet with Andy Fite, guitar, Crothers, Tabnik, Ackerhielm, Jazzklub Fasching, Stockholm, Sweden (2001); Trio with Richard Tabnik; three recording dates with, respectively, bassists Sean Smith, Tod Coolman, Chris Laugh (1998); Three recordings from 1982 with Warne Marsh and guitar and bass player unknown; Warne Marsh; Lee Konitz quartet NJ (1975); Lee Konitz quintet (1979); George Coleman quintet (1978); Tal Farlow trio, Atlantic Highlands, NJ (1980); Jimmy Knepper, informal home recording, Dave Shapiro on bass, other musicians unknown, Staten Island, NY (1976)
64 Brushy Neck Road
Bricktown, NJ 08724