14.95 Out Of Stock
After a 28-year sabbatical, the most celebrated of John Handy's quintets -- an unorthodox outfit with violin and electric guitar leads and no piano -- held a reunion at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA, and the German Boulevard label got it down on two absorbing CDs. With Handy holding the fort on alto sax, Jerry Hahn on guitar, Michael White on violin, Donald W. Thompson on bass, and Terry Clarke on drums, the quintet often seems to straddle three eras at once -- with its feet in post-bop, its heart in '60s modal fire, and subliminal visions of jazz-rock in its eyes. In the spirit of the band's highly regarded excursions at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival, "Spanish Lady" burns on for a furious 19-and-a-half minutes, with the underrated Hahn in inspired form, and the modal "If Only I Knew" saunters past the 21-minute mark. "Blues for a High-Strung Guitar" has Hahn sputtering along with high-speed staccato playing, and Handy reverts to a bop style at ballad tempo on "Body and Soul," though Hahn isn't as comfortable within its confines. "Dancy, Dancy" starts as a slightly out of tune samba at first, but soon gets its bearings, and the driving, turbulent rendering of "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" is the "miniature" of the set, clocking at a mere ten-and-a-half minutes. The set also includes a gratuitous "remix" of "Spanish Lady" to fill out disc two, with extended applause and Handy's PA announcements (wasn't any more music recorded that night?).