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on 11 August 2013
Alongside of Ray Bryant, Mose Allison & Les McCann, Junior Mance was a post bop pianist with a heavily gospel influenced style who was popular in the late fifties and early sixties. These reissues of his trio work from this period are welcome as they have previously only been available on "collectible" vinyl at great cost. He also composed much of the music here and "Jubilation" was also recorded by Art Farmer on "Modern Art" - a record that was awarded 5 stars by Downbeat in 1958. I first heard his music on a BBC radio programme at this time and his style quickly became a favourite of mine but I was never lucky enough to own the records. Two full CDs are probably too much of the same thing to take in all at once but at this price who is complaining?

Well done Avid.
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on 18 April 2015
Mance plays the piano flawlessly, he swings and he has soul but, but . . . his music doesn't take you to places you've never been before and that, for me is a weakness. If you compare his version of Sweet and Lovely with that of Thelonious Monk you'll hear what I mean. Mance's is competent and pleasant but Monk's is a revelation.
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on 13 January 2018
is not a very good music
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 March 2014
I knew the name " Junior Mance" but had never fully investigated him. I now know what I am missing. I was initially aware of Mance in connection with his involvement with Dizzy Gillespie, but then I found this Avid collection. If you are new to Mance, start here. A wonderful collection of albums ("Junior" was always highly regarded) here. All Avid rereleases have high audio fidelity.

Beware: after this you'll want more...start with "Junior's Blues"
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 August 2012
NOTE: This review relates specifically to the Avid 2-CD set of Shelly Manne. Because of Amazon's so-called "Product Group" policy, under which two items sharing the same title (in this case, presumably, Three Classic Albums Plus!) are deemed to be one and the same, it's been cross-posted to Avid's 2-CD set of Junior Mance. If you're reading this on that page, please disregard The next two paragraphs. Because I'm deemed to have reviewed this set already, I cannot correct Amazon's error without deleting it completely, so I've appended my review of the Junior Mance compilation.

This 2-CD set contains two albums based on the soundtrack of the TV series "Peter Gunn" and, but for two tracks, two albums by Shelly Manne and His Friends of numbers from the 1956 musicals "Bells are Ringing" and "Li'l Abner". The last-named, inspired by Al Capp's cartoon character, was the first to be recorded, in February 1957, with André Previn on piano and Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and the two missing tracks are "Progress is the Root of All Evil" and "Past My Prime". Red Mitchell replaced Leroy Vinnegar on bass for "Bells are Ringing" which was recorded in April and July 1958. The vogue for giving musicals a jazz treatment had been kick-started by the success of the trio's best-selling album "My Fair Lady". These tunes are less well-known than the Lerner & Loewe score, but their treatment is every bit as accomplished, the piano being the dominant voice throughout.

The Peter Gunn tracks were recorded in January 1959, and Son of Gunn in May of that year, by a sextet dubbed Shelly Manne & His Men, three of whom participated in both sessions. They were Victor Feldman guesting on vibes & marimba, Russ Freeman on piano, and Monty Budwig on bass. Conte Candoli on trumpet and Herb Geller on alto sax completed the line-up for the first session, later replaced by Joe Gordon on trumpet and Richie Kamuca on tenor sax. The atmospheric score had been written by Henry Mancini, and the TV series broke new ground by featuring jazz as an integral part of its presentation. This was not Shelly's first crack at it; "Jazz Gunn" was recorded for Atlantic in 1967, but the two later outings are superior recordings. All in all, this is a most enjoyable set, which swings along in a relaxed fashion, under Shelly's genial leadership.


The Junior Mance compilation is trio-based throughout, with the pianist accompanied by bass and drums on his first four albums as leader. "Junior" is a Verve album from April 1959, the remainder are "The Soulful Piano of J.M." from October 1960, "At the Village Vanguard" from February 1961, both issued on Jazzland, and seven of the nine tracks from the Riverside album "Big Chief" recorded in August 1961. The first album was sub-titled "Junior Mance and his Swinging Piano", he was accompanied by Ray Brown and Lex Humphries, and it makes for pleasant listening, even if it only really takes off on "Love for Sale". The Soulful album teamed him with Ben Tucker and Bobby Thomas, and it's a more animated and bluesy approach. The live album, with Larry Gales and Ben Riley, takes off apace with an up-tempo "Looptown", and presents a variety of moods, concluding with a suitably introspective "Girl of My Dreams". On the final album he was accompanied by Jimmy Rowser and Paul Gutman, and it includes a second even more animated run at "Love for Sale", a ruminative version of "The Seasons", and a stylized version of "Summertime". The original albums are much sought after, but you need deep pockets to buy them, so this budget-priced compilation deserves a warm welcome.
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on 3 November 2014
Excellent value for money
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on 15 January 2013
these avid cds are excellent value,superbly transcribed clean clear ,without added false bass.ihave ten of them so far,and all of these fifty plus year old recordings sound so fresh.keep up the very good work.
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on 31 January 2013
some of the peter gunn numbers can be a bit tedious, but all the tracks are well arranged and well played, by a mixture of 1st. class musicians.

Would particularly recommend the playing of previn in the 'bells are ringing' selection, which i feel says more for previn than it does for manne - Good though manne is on all selections.
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