One of the most advanced arrangers of the mid-1940s, George Handy's radical charts gave the Boyd Raeburn Orchestra its musical personality while also probably making it impossible for the big band to work steadily.
He originally learned piano from his mother but later studied at Julliard, New York University, and with Aaron Copland. Handy played with Raymond Scott in 1941 but made his reputation with Raeburn (1944-1946), whose orchestra he turned from a dance band into an ensemble more advanced in its own way than Stan Kenton's. "Tonsillectomy" and "Dalvatore Sally" were two of Handy's more notable (or infamous) originals but even his arrangements of standards (such as "Body and Soul" and "Temptation") that featured singers David Allyn and Ginnie Powell were quite dissonant and full of surprising explosions.
Unfortunately, a personality conflict resulted in Handy only being with...