An integral cog of the bands of Gillespie and Adderly Junior Mance’s move to the role of leader was a relatively late one in life. His obvious talents at the piano however counteract any contention that his longevity as a sideman was due to a lack of prowess. Once he did decide to form his own groups the regular results were much like those found on this exemplary and aptly titled trio recording. Mance’s style is a happy one indeed, filled with gregarious energy and a contagious good humor that carries over both in his playing and in his approach to improvisation.
Carter and Roker acclimate themselves well to the jubilant atmosphere while Mance wastes no time spreading the joy on his keys through the accelerated swing of the title tune. Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” is taken at a slower clip and features some congenial interplay between the three that borders on the beautiful. Mance’s own “Out South” is a down-home number, bursting with a blues-inflected, rustic flavor. Carter’s plucked strings on this one are particularly elastic and lay down a supple groove in unison with Roker’s brushes that is guaranteed to get your feet tapping. On the Afro-Cuban classic “Tin Tin Deo” the two again work in tandem crafting a loose rhythmic backdrop and Roker engineers an inventive timbales-like sound with his sticks on the rims of his kit. With such a solid foundation Mance is free to solo at will on top. Carter’s opening bass vamp on “Taggie’s Tune” hits a relaxed groove and Roker’s brushes are again a blur beneath Mance’ economic comping. “Azure Te” slows things down even further without losing the sharp bluesy tang that always seems to be Mance’s main ingredient. With sessions like these in his portfolio the pianist would never have to worry about being accused of falling short in those areas that almost always make for intriguing jazz- an original and inclusive sense of purpose and the fortitude to make that purpose a reality.
Happy Time/ Jitterbug Waltz/ Out South/ Tin Tin Deo/ For Dancers Only/ Taggie
Junior Mance- piano; Ron Carter- double bass; Mickey Roker- drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.