Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Junior Mance is well-known for his soulful bluesy style, but he is also expert at playing bop standards. He started playing professionally when he was ten. Mance worked with Gene Ammons in Chicago during 1947-1949, played with Lester Young (1950), and was with the Ammons-Sonny Stitt group until he was drafted. He was the house pianist at Chicago's Bee Hive (1953-1954), worked as Dinah Washington's accompanist (1954-1955), was in the first Cannonball Adderley Quintet (1956-1957), and then spent two years touring with Dizzy Gillespie (1958-1960). After a few months with the Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis/Johnny Griffin group, Mance formed his own trio and has mostly been a leader ever since. He has led sessions for Verve, Jazzland, Riverside, Capitol, Atlantic, Milestone, Polydor, Inner City, JSP, Nilva, Sackville, and Bee Hive, among other labels.