Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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MANCE, Junior

(b Julian Clifford Mance Jr, 10 Oct. '28, Chicago) Pianist, leader, composer. Worked with Gene Ammons, Lester Young; after army service '51--3 led own combo in Chicago, then toured, recorded with Dinah Washington '54--5, Cannonball Adderley '56--7, Dizzy Gillespie '58--9, Johnny Griffin '60--61; formed own trio, toured with Joe Williams '62- -4. Recorded with Aretha Franklin (LP Soul '69 on Atlantic). Live act is popular, often in commercially bluesy way like Ray Bryant, Les McCann; but a more accomplished musician and composer than that sounds, and returning to harder bop in recent years. Eight trio LPs '60--62 on Verve, Jazzland, Ozone and Riverside incl. Trio Live At The Village Vanguard (reissued '85 on Fantasy) followed by two big-band sets with arr. by Dave Cavanaugh, trio album That's Where It Is, all '64 on Capitol; after a layoff due to an obscure disease of the middle ear, Atlantic LPs '66--70 incl. I Believe To My Soul, Live At The Top Of The Gate (with David 'Fathead' Newman's tenor and flute on some tracks). Other albums: That Lovin' Feelin' c'68 on Milestone, Jimmy Witherspoon With Junior Mance '69 (live in France, on a Stony Plain CD '97), The Junior Mance Touch '73 with strings on Polydor, Holy Mama '76 on East Wind/Inner City, Live At Sweet Basil '77 on Japanese Flying Disc label, Deep '80 on JSP, duo LPs with Martin Rivera on bass on Nilva and Sackville (For Dancers Only) '83; quintet Here 'Tis and live solo Jubilation '94 also on Sackville. Truckin' And Trakin' '83 on Beehive with Rivera, Newman, drummer Walt Bolden incl. 'Mean Old Amtrak'. Trio Softly As In A Morning Sunrise made in Germany, quartet At Town Hall Vol. 1 '95 with Houston Person on tenor and Mance's soulful hard bop on top form, both on Enja. A trio with Keeter Betts and drummer Jackie Williams played on the S.S. Norway's Jazz cruise '94; Chiaroscuro were so impressed they booked them into a studio for Blue Mance that year, recorded by Rudy Van Gelder, and recorded The Floating Jazz Festival Trio -- 1995 on the boat, with guest Benny Golson on two tracks.