Don't pass this up – as the package features 2 excellent albums by the vastly underrated John Handy! Although John Handy made some weak pop/
soul jazz LPs in the 70's, his early work for Roulette
is stellar, and long overlooked by jazz collectors. The first album in the set, In The Vernacular, was recorded right around the time that he was working with Mingus and Randy Weston. Modernist alto playing, but with a warm soulful sound, and a great deal of imagination. Sharp sharp tones, like the best of Jackie McLean's hard bop work, and excellent accompaniment by Roland Hanna, Roy Haynes, and the great Richard Williams. Tracks include "I'll Close My Eyes", "Suggested Line", "Problem Too", and "Blues In The Vernacular". The second album in the set is Quote Unquote – and even better album, recorded slightly later. Handy's alto is honed to a razor sharp point, fresh from his work with Mingus, and the writing and playing is at a level that he (and few other alto players) ever reached again. A young Walter Bishop plays piano, and the cuts include "No Coast", "Boo's Ups & Downs", and "Quote, Unquote".
(Cover has light wear and a cut corner.)