On the Road
The very accomplished veteran Junior Mance's On the Road (Trio) contains selections from three February 2002 U.K. concert performances. Mance is still in fine form with all of his musical attributes intact. Producer/engineer/bassist Andrew Cleyndert has done well in all functions and the enjoyment he, his U.K. colleague drummer Steve Brown and Mance share in working together is conveyed in the performances. The music is well-executed, but the tunes are too familiar and often too long: "How Insensitive," "Georgia on My Mind" and "Ask Me Now" are more than 10 and a half minutes each, longer than the ideas expressed hold interest. Ray Bryant's "I Don't Care" is a familiar minor blues a la "Equinox," and Mance's "Jubilation" and "Out South" provide proper fatback feel a bit too predictably. Best are an uptempo version of "Broadway" and a sprightly version of Tadd Dameron's "Good Bait."