Desert Island Jazz
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  • Craig Handy (2008)
    The playing careers of drummers Art Blakey and Roy Haynes overlapped by almost 50 years, from before their individual debut recordings in the mid-40s until Blakey's death in 1991, yet surprisingly few musicians played with both: Craig Handy, a member of Haynes's early-90s band, is one of those few.

    Oakland-born, and a product of both the fabled Berkeley High School music program and, via a coveted Charlie Parker scholarship, the North Texas State University One o'Clock Band, Craig has been resident in New York City since the mid-80s. While his main instrument is the tenor saxophone, his mastery of the soprano sax, of clarinet and bass clarinet, and of flute have made him continually in demand with such as Mingus Dynasty and the Mingus Big Band. His career has also included periods with Abdullah Ibrahim, Betty Carter and Herbie Hancock (with whom he appeared at the 1996 Monterey Jazz Festival). He's also a film star of sorts, one of the band of young jazz musicians in Robert Altman's 1996 "Kansas City" (he played a Coleman Hawkins-like tenor player).

    The Big Apple's gain is definitely the Bay Area's loss, but Craig does make it back home a couple of times a year, appearing with artists such as Freddie Hubbard, The Mingus Big Band, and his own small groups. Never one to forget his roots, you'll also find Craig guesting with the jazz bands of San Francisco City College.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil Fee Fi Fo Fum (Blue Note)
    # 2 Dexter Gordon Nights at the Keystone, Vol. 1 It's You or No One (Blue Note)
    # 3 Charles Mingus Changes Two Orange Was the Color of Her Dress Then Blue Silk (Rhino)
    # 4 Maurice Ravel Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 35; Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit, performed by Ivo Pogorelich Ondine from "Gaspard de la Nuit" (Deutsche Grammophon)
    # 5 Steely Dan Then and Now: The Best of Steely Dan Remastered Deacon Blues (MCA)
    # 6 Chick Corea Live in Montreux Psalm (GRP)
    # 7 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes Repetition (Verve)
    Book Toni Morrison; or Science Fiction, e.g., Frank Herbert
    Luxury Item New York City
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Matt Eakle
    15 Dec
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun