|Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith w/ Dee Dee Bridgewater
With Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith, his OKeh debut and first recording as a leader since 2000, tenor/alto/soprano saxophonist Craig Handy presents his initial encounter with an organ ensemble. Available January 21, 2014, the album, which consists of 10 numbers from the songbook of Jimmy Smith - the founder of modern jazz organ expression - grew out of Handy's realization several years ago that his distinguished resume included no opportunities "to cut my teeth with any of the great organ players." Handy’s reinterpretation of Smiths’ work includes solos with a creative edge and grooves derived from the tight second-line funk of the Crescent City.
Craig Handy, tenor sax
Kyle Khoeler, organ
Matt Chertkoff, guitar
Clark Gayton, sousaphone
Jerome Jennings, drums
Dee Dee Bridgewater, vocals
In keeping with the jazz tradition regarding finding a fresh working group, Handy recruited soul jazz specialists Kyle Koehler on Hammond B-3 and Matt Chertkoff on guitar (both New Jersey neighbors and members of his working band), sousaphone virtuoso Clark Gayton, and well known New Orleans drummers Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley and Ali Jackson. Trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis, singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and blues singer-guitarist Clarence Spady make their trademark appearances on the record as well.
ABOUT DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Jazz giant DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner recently won the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for ELEANORA FAGAN (1915-1959): TO BILLIE WITH LOVE FROM DEE DEE.
Bridgewater's career has always bridged musical genres. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70's she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie. After a foray into the pop world during the 1980s, she relocated to Paris and began to turn her attention back to Jazz. Signing with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her CDs), Bridgewater released a series of critically acclaimed titles beginning with Keeping Tradition in 1993. All but one, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella - have received Grammy nominations.
Bridgewater also pursued a parallel career in musical theater, winning a Tony Award for her role as "Glinda" in The Wiz in 1975. Her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the West End Production of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She is currently starring in the lead role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at the Little Schubert Theater in New York City.
As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bridgewater continues to appeal for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects in the fight against world hunger. She is also in her 11th year of hosting NPR's award-winning weekly syndicated show, JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater (WBGO).