274

Junior Mance: Groovin' with Junior

By

Sign in to view read count
Junior Mance: Groovin' with Junior Nearing 80, Junior Mance is among the last still-vigorous performers of his generation, the master of a blues-drenched piano style that fuses bop harmony and block chords with tremolos and funky pentatonics. His biography is also his tradition, including stints with Gene Ammons, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie and Dinah Washington.

Mance has visited Toronto for decades, frequently performing at jazz piano bars like Café des Copains and its successor, the recently closed Montreal Bistro. Since 1995 his Toronto performances have featured a regular trio with bassist Don Thompson and drummer Archie Alleyne, the former best-known outside Canada for his tenure with the original John Handy Quintet and the latter a veteran whose career reaches back to sideman appearances with Billie Holiday. Together they form a tight-knit trio, Alleyne a sparkling complement to Mance's immense swing and Thompson providing fluidly guitar-like solos as well as resilient bass lines.

They made a superb recording in 1996 called Milestones (also on Sackville) and Groovin' with Junior is a 2006 commemoration, recorded in a studio with a live audience. It's joyous, swinging music that's utterly unlike the studied practice of younger mainstream musicians, happily shifting between such modern jazz anthems as Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now" and Milt Jackson's "Bag's Groove" and ballads like "Stormy Weather." The material is mostly standards, with Mance's "Blues for the Bistro," a characteristically ebullient performance, the only original. In all, it's a jaunt through terrain that's likely familiar but highly engaging.

Track Listing: Falling in Love with Love; Ask Me Now; Blues for the Bistro; For Dancers Only; Bags Groove; Stormy Weather; The Theme.

Personnel: Junior Mance: piano; Don Thompson: bass; Archie Alleyne: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Sackville | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "As subtle as tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review As subtle as tomorrow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Continuum" CD/LP/Track Review Continuum
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!