Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Craig Handy: Flow

Craig Handy’s third Sirocco CD features some beautiful soprano-sax solos and intense, if frequently less exacting, tenor contributions. Handy’s been an emerging star since leaving North Texas State in 1984. His early ’90s releases on Arabesque were flawed but exciting, and he’s getting more confident as a player with each date on Sirocco. His group includes an excellent drummer in Ali Jackson and capable bass and keyboard participants in Rodney Whitaker and Xavier Davis, respectively.

Handy mostly sticks to originals on Flow, but includes a good cover of the Herbie Hancock/Stevie Wonder tune “Chan’s Song” as well as one dud, a formulaic run-through of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things.” The band sounds so dreary here it seems this cut was included just to validate their traditionalist credentials. Those two tunes aside, the date’s better songs, like “Flow-Dou,” “Chan’s Song” and “Yin-Yang,” click mainly due to Handy’s vibrant playing. On these, however, there’s also the bonus of inspired ensemble response and Davis’ flair for nimble riffs and answering lines.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published