“Jubilation” was originally released in 1996 and likely will be new to most ears. In a program ranging from Hoagy Carmichael, Ellington and Strayhorn, W.C. Handy, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, Dizzy Gillespie and Cole Porter, Mance throughout showcases his considerable and ability in mixing gospel and blues roots with florid Tatum-esque runs. The title track is a particularly exhilarating performance, but his touch and tenderness is shown on a rendition of “Georgia On My Mind.”
Mance gets playful on “Lady Be Good,” while his take on “All the Things You Are” is a high point on this exceptional release. Mance also puts his own stamp on a marvelous take of the venerable “St. Louis Blues,” as well as on “Birks Works,” while he invests a morose tone to “Lover Man.” “What Is Thing Called Love” starts in a reflective manner before Mance turns his interpretation into a stride-rooted romp. This track exhibits the wide ranging musical imagination mixed with his formidable technique making “Jubilation” such a delightful recording.
I received my review copy from Delmark. Here is Junior Mance doing "Jubilation" in 1959.