Junior Mance – Get Ready, Set, Jump!!!

More Junior Mance

Get Ready, Set, Jump!!!

xxxxx

  • This outstanding copy of Mance’s 1964 release boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • Wonderfully big, rich and LIVELY, with boatloads of Tubey Magic and three-dimensional space
  • This vintage stereo pressing boasts exceptionally natural piano sound and the live-in-the-studio energy of a swingin’ group of veteran horn players
  • 4 stars: “Mance is joined by some of the cream of the West Coast studio and jazz players for a session that features Mance doing his blues thing on piano while the band swings at various tempi… resembling somewhat the style of the Count Basie Orchestra.”

*NOTE: A mark makes three moderate swooshes in the middle of track one, Sweet Talkin’ Hannah.

This vintage Capitol pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with Mance, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the best sides of Get Ready, Set, Jump have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1964
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

What We’re Listening For on Get Ready, Set, Jump

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks for the piano, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
  • Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the players.
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Players

Junior Mance – piano
John Audino, Pete Candoli, Don Fagerquist, Manny Klein, Al Porcino, Ray Triscari – trumpet
Milt Bernhart, Vern Friley, Lew McCreary – trombone
George Roberts, Ken Shroyer – bass trombone
Joe Comfort – bass
Shelly Manne – drums

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Sweet Talkin’ Hannah 
Jubilation 
Moten Swing 
But Beautiful 
Broadway 
Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya

Side Two

She’s A Little Doll 
Running Upstairs 
September Song 
Gee Baby, Ain’t Good To You 
“D” Waltz 
Get Ready, Set, Jump

AMG 4 Star Review

For his first recording session for Capitol, jazz blues pianist Junior Mance abandoned his usual small-group format for a big-band recording. Mance is joined by some of the cream of the West Coast studio and jazz players for a session that features Mance doing his blues thing on piano while the band swings at various tempi ranging from high moderate paces to high-energy romping. There are no reeds, so the sound is brighter and edgier than usual, but never shrill, resembling somewhat the style of the Count Basie Orchestra.

…The synergy between piano player and band is apparent on all the tracks, and is especially telling on all-time big-band favorite “Moten Swing” and the up-tempo 12-bar theme on “Running Upstairs.” Mance is equally comfortable with ballads, as on “But Beautiful,” with the band’s brass led on this cut by the bass trombone of George Roberts, sounding as if a French horn or two were present, à la Claude Thornhill. The group swings particularly soulfully on “September Song” from Knickerbocker Holiday. The album’s coda, “Get Ready, Set, Jump!!!,” was the theme song of one of the early swing groups, the Savoy Sultans, and is written by that outfit’s leader, Al Cooper.