350

Craig Handy

By

Sign in to view read count
Sweet Basil April 12, 1997 New York City
Talk about what good teachers can do for a student. Coming out of one of the finest jazz programs in the country at North Texas State, playing with Art Blakey, being a long-time member of Roy Haynes' band, working with Abdullah Ibrahim and spending quality time with Betty Carter, tenor man Craig Handy, at the age of 34 has taken these lessons to heart as evidenced by his recent stand at NY's Sweet Basil. Hot on the heels of a well-received tour with the Kansas City band, in reference to the Robert Altman film in which Handy appeared, the tenor-stylist appeared ready to roll with his own group.
Appearing with Handy were: Carter alumni Dwayne Burno on bass, Gene Jackson on drums and Haynes alumni David Kikoski at the piano. Handy burned through a few original numbers with a lovely reading of "My Ship" thrown in for good measure. Handy is able to find lyricism in the most firey of settings while not falling prey to the "too many notes disease" that so many players are prone to do. The relationship that clearly exists between Kikoski and Handy not only comes from their common employer, Haynes, but from the pianist's appearance on Handy's latest effort, Three for All plus One.
Perhaps the grounding of Handy's style results from his experiences playing with the prestigious "One o' Clock" big band at North Texas State. The combination of playing in that setting along with exposure to teachers such as Bill Bolden and Jim Riggs, according to Handy, "helped me out a lot... North Texas was able to provide a sort of meat and potatoes, back to basics type of jazz education, which for some, is the way to go." Handy bemoans the fact that there are a plethora of fine players at the school that will never be heard for one reason or another.

When asked if there was a difference in terms of playing with Haynes and Blakey, Handy replies simply, "apples and oranges... both were great players with superb leadership skills. With Roy, you get a very melodic player who takes great pride in paying attention to the lyrics of whatever tune is being played. He would always tell his players to be playing a song when soloing, don't just play a bunch of licks." Certainly that is one lesson that has been well learned.

A Selected Craig Handy Discography:

Kansas City Soundtrack Verve

The Chartbusters Mating Call Prestige

Craig Handy Three For All Plus One Arabesque

Craig Handy Split Second Timing Arabesque

Roy Haynes When its Haynes it roars Cheetah

Roy Haynes Roy haynes & Friends Dreyfus

Betty Carter Droppin' Things Verve

Lenny White Accoustic Masters Atlantic

Abdullah Ibrahim Mindiff Enja

Stephen Scott Something to Consider Verve

Mingus Dynasty The Sound of Love Soul Note

Mingus Dynasty Next Generation Columbia

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Punkt Festival 2017 Live Reviews Punkt Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: September 17, 2017
Read Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium Live Reviews Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 16, 2017
Read 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival Live Reviews 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 15, 2017
Read Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre Live Reviews Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read 38th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden Live Reviews 38th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: September 15, 2017
Read Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Live Reviews Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues" Live Reviews Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Jean Luc Ponty Band at the Boulder Theater" Live Reviews Jean Luc Ponty Band at the Boulder Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Karuna at LaFontsee Gallery" Live Reviews Karuna at LaFontsee Gallery
by John Ephland
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "The Cookers at Nighttown" Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.