Friday, 19 September 2008

John Handy Quintet - The 2nd John Handy Album


The 2nd John Handy Album
256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Columbia CS-9367

This is one of the earliest jazz purchases I made back as a teenager in the 80s. I had picked up a copy of the sixth I Gigante Del Jazz in a delete bin and was captivated by the track "If Only We Knew" from his 1965 appearance at Monterey (also available on his Live at The Monterey Jazz Fest album). This LP
under the moniker of The John Handy Quintet features the same line up that performed at the festival .

Below is a snapshot bio from AMG but for a more in-depth look at his career, I highly recommend you take a tour through his own site and check out this excellent four-part interview he conducted for Indiana U's WFIU radio station.

by Scott Yanow
A talented and adventurous altoist whose career has gone through several phases, John Handy started playing alto in 1949. After moving to New York in 1958, he had a fiery period with Charles Mingus (1958-1959) that resulted in several passionate recordings that show off his originality; he also recorded several dates as a leader for Roulette. Handy led his own bands during 1959-1964, and played with Mingus at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival, but it was at the following year's festival that he was a major hit, stretching out with his quintet (which included violinist Michael White and guitarist Jerry Hahn) on two long originals. Soon, Handy was signed to Columbia, where he recorded his finest work (three excellent albums) during 1966-1968. Since that time, he has performed world music with Ali Akbar Khan, recorded the R&B hit "Hard Work" for Impulse in 1976, gigged and recorded with Mingus Dynasty, and in the late '80s led a group (called Class) featuring three female violinists who sing. John Handy (no relation to the Dixieland altoist Capt. John Handy) remains a strong soloist who can hit high notes way above his horn's normal register with ease, but he has mostly maintained a low profile, teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area.

AMG Review
by Scott Yanow
Altoist John Handy's second Columbia album was actually his fourth as a leader. Utilizing the same musicians who had joined him during his sensational set at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival (violinist Michael White, guitarist Jerry Hahn, bassist Don Thompson and drummer Terry Clarke), Handy performs five of his complex yet accessible originals, which include the "Theme X" (in 5/4 time), the catchy "Blues for a Highstrung Guitar," and the adventurous "Scheme #1." The CD reissue adds three previously unissued alternate takes to the earlier program. This would be the unit's only studio album, and after disbanding, they did not reunite until 1994. The memorable music is highly recommended.

John Handy - Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Terry Clarke - Drums
Jerry Hahn - Guitar
Don Thompson - Bass
Michael White - Violin

1 Dancy, Dancy
2 Theme X
3 Blues For A Highstrung Guitar
4 Dance For Carlo B
5 Scheme #1


1959 In the Vernacular
1960 No Coast Jazz
1962 Jazz
1965 Live at the Monterey Jazz Fest at mohaoffbeat (APE) + seventeen green buicks (mp3) + Sic Vos Non Vobis (FLAC)
1966 John Handy
1966 The 2nd John Handy Album at Soundological
1967 Quote Unquote
1967 New View at Happy as a fat rat in a cheese factory (mp3) + Sic Vos Non Vobis (FLAC)
1968 Projections
1975 Karuna Supreme at Magic Purple Sunshine
1976 Hard Work at BeeQ (128k) + Na Onda do Samba Rock (320k)
1977 Carnival at My Favourite Sound
1978 Where Go the Boats at My Jazz World
1978 Handy Dandy Man at My Jazz World + flageolette
1980 Rainbow at Magic Purple Sunshine
1988 Excursion in Blue
1989 Centerpiece with Class (Julie Carter, Tarika Lewis and Sandi Poindexter)
1994 Very First Recordings
1996 Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival
1996 Live at Yoshi's
1996 Musical Dreamland

Performances on Recordings by Mingus

1959 Wonderland at Floodlit Footprint
1959 Blues and Roots at The Free Speech Zone
1959 Mingus Ah Um
at The Free Speech Zone
1959 Mingus Dynasty at The Free Speech Zone
1959 Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife a
t The Free Speech Zone
1964 Mingus at Monterey
1964 Right Now: Live at Jazz Workshop

1974 Mingus at Carnegie Hall at JazzyMach
1979 Chair in the Sky

Performances on Recordings by Other Artists

1960 Paul Barnes - Paul Barnes and His Polo Players
1980 Mingus Dynasty - Chair in the Sky
1981 Dr. L. Subramaniam - Blossom at Awangarda
1981 Sonny Stitt - Just in Case You Forgot How Bad
1984 Mel Martin - Be Bop and Beyond
1998 Merl Saunders & the Rainforest Band - Fiesta Amazonica

This session was reissued by Koch in 1997 with three extra tracks ("A Bad Stroke Of Luck" and "Debonair" along with an alternate take of "Blues for a Highstrung Guitar") but that CD has been OOP for a decade. Until you're able to track it down, Soundological offers a simulated vinyl experience HERE or HERE.

*Links checked and updated Aug 22, 2009


Reza said...

Thanks again , incredible informative description as always (puts me to shame)

pwr2thepeopleman said...

I've seen this album before but have never bothered to pick it up. One listen to the "X" song and I'm kicking myself. Now I'll never be able to find the vinyl. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the hard work.

cheeba said...

Reza, I think that's what they call praise from Caesar. :)

pwr2thepeopleman, you're more than welcome. That track is an incredible piece. BTW, if you're quick, a vinyl copy is going for $5 "Buy It Now" on eBay as of 7:30 PM EST.

boogieman said...

Hi Cheeba,

never realised this album was on the Web. Luckily I have the vinyl, found it 30 so years ago. It's been a favorite ever since. Unfortunately (musically speaking) my profession takes me for long assignments overseas and i tend to miss my LP collection. Never had the time to rip them (luckilly friendly bloggers do it for me :-) .
I was therefore very happy to find it here. Thanks for all the good music. I always try to leave a comment but probably not often enough.

cheeba said...

Hi boogieman!

I know how you feel - when I went on my first extended biz trip (month and a half as opposed to a few days or a week) I really realised how I took my shelves of vinyl for granted! Sure, mixtapes and a few burned CDs were "good enough" but all those tracks I wanted to hear but couldn't - frustrating indeed!

I appreciate you leaving a comment when you feel moved to do so, always a pleasure to have you pop by and glad I could help you reconnect with an old friend!

Art of Peace Collective said...

Thanks for making this gift that keeps on giving - perhaps people will still be discovering the wonders of Handy from your blog 10 years hence!