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John Handy Recorded Live at Monterey Jazz Festival Live

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Former Mingus altoist Handy's 1965 appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival briefly made him as big a jazz star as Coltrane, as more commercial variants of Trane's quest became the rage among the long-hairs (one thinks of Charles Lloyd and Pharaoh Sanders hitting the Billboard charts). This was by no means a bad thing. Handy's band, which featured violinist Michael White and guitarist Jerry Hahn (both briefly big things, as well), plays a sympathetic and searching pre-hippie modal jazz with touches of free playing. Handy deserved his fame and its mystifying why Columbia ignores his LPs and allows Koch to reissue them. --D. Strauss

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. If Only We Knew - John Handy
  2. Spanish Lady - John Handy


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Koch Records
  • ASIN: B000005YP7
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,420 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By R. Ornstein on October 1, 1998
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the greatest live performances ever, it belongs in every jazz lover's library. I was lucky enough to be there, and heard the group, then unheralded, perform that day. This recording captures the spirit of the music perfectly. It presages many later developments in music, fusion, complex multilayered rhythms, and is a stunning performance!
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Format: Audio CD
This recording set unplayed for years buried somewhere in my fairly extensive record collection. I discovered it anew just recently, and at about one a.m. placed it on my seldom used but not discarded Pioneer turntable. What I heard placed me in the same state of bliss that I remembered from years ago when I first hear "If Only We Knew". I groved on the sound in that early morning hour and vowed that I would get the CD ASAP. Later on that same day after a little sleep, I went on line into Columbiahouse's music listing just knowing that it had to be there. Typing "John Handy" into the little search box I was shocked at what I found. Not only was Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival not list, there was'nt a single listing for John Handy. I thought what a ---- shame. Not only is the recording that I truly want not out there, but Handy's work has been overlooked altogether. I thought, what is going on? I was deeply saddened at the prospect of not having this CD and even moreso at the idea that John Handy, a great jazz man, was overlooked. I thought that I would just have to wait and hope that Columbia Records or somebody would come to their senses and release at lease the Monterey performance on CD. For now I thought, if it was'nt listed by columbiahouse.com, it did'nt exist. Well, having heard of, but never having used Amazon, I did give much thought to Amazon.com. as a possible source for this recording. Well, I got around to at least looking and was both surprised and happy to see that they had it! Alas, somebody did have the good judgement to recognize a great performance and to memorialize it in a digital format and Amazon was wise enough have it. Great! I can't wait to add this recording to my CD collection.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Outside of Southeast Asia, most people remember 1967 as a `very good year' as the song goes. Sort of ridiculous, the emotional tags we place on periods of time - which, in reality, are comprised of as many vicissitudes and shifts in mood and perspective, as any other. Yet, the sixties are fondly remembered as a time when we appeared to be progressing toward a more egalitarian society, when we were more foot-loose and fancy-free, when long-standing socially imposed limitations and inhibitions seemed to be falling away, when we were taking it to the streets, when the best things in life were free, or, at the least, affordable, and trees in their quiet elegance stood unmolested on both sides of the roadways.

In 1967, Downbeat Magazine, the venerable tribunal of jazz etiquette awarded this recording it's vaunted, "Album of the Year". Unquestionably, in a year of great jazz, when Trane, Diz, Miles, and Bill Evans, among others, were walking the planet, this recording deserved the plaudits. On one of the hottest live dates ever, what we have here is a group of superb musicians, none fated to be exceptionally distinguished on his own, together, simply transcending the medium. The session represents in certain respects the birth of jazz fusion, and is the quintessence of that wonderful and precious genre known as San Francisco jazz. As the inimitable critic, Nat Hentoff wrote, with an assured prescience we rarely find these days, "A legendary performance, and one destined to make jazz history". He was right.

Does it stand up? Well, yes. The "B" side, "Spanish Lady", perhaps does not generate the electricity it did forty years ago - after all that we've heard since - but none of the intricacy is lost. The "A" side, however, "If Only We Knew", deeply felt, numinous and grand, retains its luster for the ages. A classic moment, from an era whose best moments resonate ever more profoundly, as they fade into the recesses of the past.
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Format: Audio CD
That's all.
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