Monday, February 28, 2011

In Lieu of 1000 Words: Junior Mance Quintet at The Blue Room

From here they headed West, winding up in Colorado. Here’s how The Denver Post previewed their performance:

“Julian Clifford ‘Junior’ Mance is a living, thriving link to the history of jazz. When he was a teenager, the Chicago pianist backed up saxophonist Gene Ammons. From there he toured with another saxophone king, Lester Young, as well as singer Dinah Washington, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley.”

That link to jazz history returned to Kansas City’s link to jazz history – 18th and Vine – on February 5th with his quintet for what will undoubtedly be one of The Blue Room’s funnest shows of the year, just as last April’s show (which I photographed here) was last year.

With tenor saxophonist and Paola native Ryan Anselmi and drummer and Hutchinson native Kim Garey, Junior’s current quintet arrives with strong Midwestern ties. Add bassist Hide Tanaka and baritone saxophonist Andrew Hadro, and I’m betting you can’t find a jazz group which swings harder than this one.

Here’s how it looked earlier this month. As always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it.

The Junior Mance Quintet. Left to right: Junior Mance on piano, Hide Tanaka on bass, Ryan Anselmi on tenor sax, Kim Garey on drums, Andrew Hadro on baritone sax.

Junior Mance plays piano

Hide Tanaka

Ryan Anselmi solos...

...Which Junior both accompanies and enjoys.

The rhythm section

Kim Garey peers over the drums

Andrew solos while Junior (and all of us in the audience) love it

Andrew Hadro on baritone sax

Junior Mance at the piano

When Junior solos, everyone listens

Ryan solos while a ghostly Coltrane (via a photo on the wall) listens

The Junior Mance Quintet at The Blue Room

A very happy Junior Mance. We all left happy.

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