The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3008: Capt. John Handy TV Airshots, 1968-1970

Personnel:  [tracks 1-7] Capt. John Handy (asx), Punch Miller (tp), Homer Eugene (tb), Andrew Morgan (c/tsx), Dick Wellstood (pn), Sylvester Handy (sbs), Lester Alexis (dm)
[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).

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3008: 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


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