Song of the Week – Hard Work, John Handy


A few weeks ago I picked up a vinyl copy of an album called Hard Work (1976), by John Handy. The saxophonist had an early career in the 50s and 60s working with some serious jazz heavyweights such as Charles Mingus.

He took a hiatus from performance to become an academic – teaching music at several prestigious San Francisco area schools such as Stanford, UC – Berkeley, SFSU and the SF Conservatory of Music.

Hard Work was only Handy’s second album since the late 60s. By this time he was incorporating more R&B into his work, perhaps due to exposure from his young students. This isn’t pure jazz, it’s a 70’s jazz/funk hybrid that is similar to the work of contemporaries like the Crusaders or Weather Report.

The dorian mode title track is today’s SotW.

As soon as I heard this dance floor groover I knew it had to secure a spot as a SotW. What better time than Labor Day weekend?

Enjoy… until next week.

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