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Album Review

Led by accomplished tenor saxman John Firmin, the Johnny Nocturne Band plays near-flawless renditions of 1940s-era jump blues and swing. Featuring vocals by Brenda Boykin, Shake 'Em Up is a collection of bues and swing tunes recorded live in the studio. The eight-piece band blows through classics such as "Fool's Blues" and "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues" while reproducing the feel and sound of a much larger orchestra, much of this due to the clever horn arrangements and robust playing of the four-piece horn section.


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s

Saxophonist, producer, and bandleader John Firmin (aka Johnny Nocturne) formed the Johnny Nocturne Band -- so named for his famous take on "Harlem Nocturne" -- in 1989 to perform at and help out the owner of a blues club in Berkeley, California, with the idea of playing some soul-jazz, or heavily blues-based instrumental jazz. The band has gone on to be a club and festival favorite with a discography extending through the 1990s and into the new millennium. Raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Firmin grew...
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Shake 'Em Up, The Johnny Nocturne Band
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