John Handy

In the Vernacular

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Altoist John Handy's debut as a leader (which was originally part of the two-LP set of the same name) was recorded when he was still a member of Charles Mingus' group. Teamed with trumpeter Richard Williams, pianist Roland Hanna, bassist George Tucker and drummer Roy Haynes, Handy (who doubles on tenor) shows the influence of John Coltrane in spots and also the fury and heat of playing with Mingus. He performs six originals (the best-known is "Dance to the Lady"), "I'll Close My Eyes," and a lyrical rendition of "I'll Never Smile Again." Excellent advanced hard bop music.

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