Capt. John Handy
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24 June 1900, Pass Christian, Mississippi, USA, d. 12 January 1971, New York, USA. As a child, Handy played various instruments with members of his musical family and sat in, usually on clarinet, with noted musicians such as Kid Howard, Kid Rena and Punch Miller. By his late teens Handy was resident in New Orleans and worked there and in surroundings areas. In the late 20s Handy began playing alto saxophone, an instrument which at that time was unpopular in jazz circles, especially those in which New Orleans-style music was played. However, during the 30s he played regularly with various jazzmen, including Lee Collins and Jim Robinson. Handys career was centred in New Orleans for many years, but in the early 60s he began to venture further afield, sometimes in company with Kid Sheik Cola and Kid Thomas Valentine.
Handys playing style was decidedly varied, ranging between hard-edged grittiness and smooth romanticism. In the late...