Holy Mama

ARTIST: Junior Mance
Junior Mance - piano
Martin Rivera - bass
Salvatore LaRocca - drums

Vanguard Studios NYC 1976

This work by the Junior Mance-led trio, with Martin Rivera on bass and Salvatore LaRocca on drums, was recorded on May 3rd and 4th, 1976 at New York’s Vanguard Studios. It is being released on CD for the first time in the U.S.

Junior Mance (Julian Clifford Mance, Jr.) was born in Evanston, Illinois on October 10, 1928. Mance started playing the piano when he was three and formally started taking lessons at eight. He naturally learned boogie-woogie playing from his father. He studied music at Chicago’s Roosevelt University. His idols were Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Earl Hines. Mance joined Gene Ammons’ band in 1947, then later performed with Lester Young. After leaving the military in 1953, he played in his own combos until being hired by singer Dinah Washington. He then became a member of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, and later he joined the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet with Sam Jones and toured Europe. and went on to join the Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis / Johnnie Griffin group. In December 1960, he formed his own trio. He accompanied Joe Williams from 1962 to 1964. Mance performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970. He has played on albums by artists such as Bennie Green, Dexter Gordon, Joe Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Clifford Brown and Clark Terry.

In this album the trio covers three songs, which include a unique take on Jim Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “God Bless The Child” made famous by Billie Holiday and Cole Porter’s “Miss Otis Regrets.” In “Miss Otis Regrets,” Junior Mance turns in a rich solo piano performance. The other four tracks, including the title track, are all Junior Mance’s compositions.

(click thumbnail for larger image)