All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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

Related Articles

Read Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters at Forest Hills Stadium Live Reviews
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters at Forest...
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad Live Reviews
Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad
by Doug Hall
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at Ardmore Music Hall Live Reviews
Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at Ardmore Music Hall
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Broken Shadows at Icehouse Live Reviews
Broken Shadows at Icehouse
by Samuel Stroup
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at Central Park SummerStage Live Reviews
Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at...
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018
Read "Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès" Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "October Revolution in Jazz & Contemporary Music 2017" Live Reviews October Revolution in Jazz & Contemporary Music 2017
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 24, 2017
Read ""A Love Supreme" with Ravi Coltrane" Live Reviews "A Love Supreme" with Ravi Coltrane
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Jon Faddis at The Wheel" Live Reviews Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Derek Bailey // Three Presences at Cafe Oto" Live Reviews Derek Bailey // Three Presences at Cafe Oto
by John Eyles
Published: March 8, 2018
Read "Ostrava Days 2017" Live Reviews Ostrava Days 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: November 23, 2017