Junior Mance: Happy Time
It is the six albums that Mance made for Riverside and Jazzland that are his most valuable works and ever so slowly Fantasy has been reissuing these forgotten classics, with Happy Time the latest to reappear. It's arguably the finest of the lot as well, owing to the eminent trio he's assembled (Ron Carter and Mickey Roker) and a sagacious mix of finger-snapping tunes. Wasting no time getting to the point, a talent of Mance's to be sure, the title cut takes no prisoners with it's speedy tempo and the pianist turns the blues licks out with a passion that can't help but upturn the ears of even the harshest critic.
The emotionally-direct bluesiness in Mance's playing can take on many hues but nowhere quite as delectable as on his own "Out South," which also features in- the-pocket support from Roker and a lowdown solo from Carter. For range of moods, don't miss the palatable use of dynamics and stop-time passages in "For Dancers Only," or the bell-like tone Mance uses to deliver a sage ballad presentation of "Azure Te." All-in-all, Mance and company deliver up a set that deserves more recognition among the pantheon of classic piano trio performances.
Track Listing: Happy Time, Jitterbug Waltz, Out South, Tin Tin Deo, For Dancers Only, Taggie's Tune, Azure Te, The Simple Waltz (43:17)
Personnel: Junior Mance- piano, Ron Carter- bass, Mickey Roker- drums
Record Label: Jazzland Recordings