1-7] Capt. John Handy (asx), Punch Miller (tp), Homer Eugene (tb),
Andrew Morgan (c/tsx), Dick Wellstood (pn), Sylvester Handy (sbs), Lester
[tracks 8-14] Capt. John Handy (asx), Kid Sheik (tp), Louis
Nelson (tb), Chester Zardis (sbs), Sammy Penn (dm), Bill Sinclair (pn),
Dave Duquette (bn)
Songs: Bourbon St. Parade, Joe Avery's Piece, Sister
Kate, Cap's Boogie Woogie, Just A Closer Walk with Thee, Exactly Like
You, Untitled Blues, Gettysburg March, Bogalusa Strut, Shake It &
Break It, Sunny Side of the Street, Walk Through the Streets of the City,
I'll Always be in Love with You, Telephone to Glory (Royal Telephone).
Capt. John Handy TV Airshots, 1968-1970
L. A. Jazz News - U. S. A.
Captain John Handy (no relation to the other altoist John Handy) was
considered quite controversial in New Orleans jazz settings at one time
for he had the audacity to play his alto in a style of music where the
tenor was still not accepted! However Handy stuck to his musical vision
and by the 1960's he was being recorded fairly regularly.
This CD from the Jazz Crusade label contains the soundtracks from two
television appearances (on PBS naturally) dating from 1968 and 1970 that
feature Handy in prime form; the films are presumably (and tragically)
lost. A forceful improviser who could usually out swing the competition
(his drive in the ensembles is remarkable), Handy's playing is easily
the highlight of this disc. The first seven selections showcase him in
a very spirited septet that includes trumpeter Punch Miller (a little
past his prime) and pianist Dick Wellstood. Although Punch does get a
little lost on a blues, his singing (really swinging on "Exactly
Like You") is a joy and he leads the ensembles well. The band really
rocks on "Joe Avery's Piece", "Capt's Boogie Woogie"
and "Exactly Like You." The second group is weakened a bit by
trumpeter Kid Sheik Colar (whose sincere but out-of-tune whinnying tone
is a liability) but the rhythm section (with drummer Sammy Penn adding
colorful sounds) really pushes hard in exciting fashion.
Even if producer Big Bill Bissonnette overstates the case a bit in the
liner notes (Handy's rise to fame was hardly a major upheaval and did
not result in any other altoists coming to prominence in traditional New
Orleans music), this is a very enjoyable CD that is easily recommended
to fans of freewheeling classic jazz.
- Scott Yanow
place an order? Click here for info.