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52nd Street was an exciting collaboration between singer Wendy Simon and singer-pianist Eric Shaw. Both Simon and Shaw were important contributors to the jazz scene in Philadelphia. Wendy Simon Sinkler is currently a music teacher and co-founded Jazz Bridge with vocalist Suzanne Cloud, an organization that helps musicians get access to doctors for an inexpensive cost. Eric Shaw, who passed away in 2006, worked with Philly Jo Jones and Slide Hampton and often accompanied other singers. 52nd Street only recorded one album, 1985’s Scrapple To The Apple, but it is a classic. The album includes a version of “Take The 'A' Train” that has new lyrics, a humorous revival of “Oh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be, ” “Everybody Eats When They Come To My House” (which was associated with Cab Calloway), “Jumpin ‘With Symphony Sid,” the fastest version ever of Ëverybody’s Boppin,’” and two features for Wendy Simon among the highlights. The hip vocals and joyful spirit are reminiscent of Louis Jordan, Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson and Annie Ross, making this a bop lover’s delight.
|Instruments||Music and Musicians|
|Accompanist/ Conductor||Wendy Simon (vocals), Eric Shaw (vocals/piano), Tony Green (drums), Craig Thomas (acoustic bass) and Tony Williams (alto sax/flute)|
Customer Reviews (2)
- "A Swingin' Sweet Street!"Review by Big Toots
With respect to Mr. Pully, the “B.S.” on the Carousel Club’s marquee depicted in William Gottlieb’s iconic 1948 photograph (and which is used as a cover shot here) could denote “Bop Street.” But, “Bop Supreme” might be more accurate because “Scrapple to the Apple” by “52nd Street” is just that. And that, my dear Hipsters, is no jive.
“52nd Street” was a collaboration of Philadelphia vocalist (and educator and humanitarian) Wendy Simon and the late pianist/vocalist Eric Shaw (Spiegel). Their only recording, “Scrapple to the Apple,” (released in 1985) is a grand slam of superlative jazz. In my humble “o”, this is one of the finest recordings in Inner City Jazz’s extensive catalog. Furthermore, it’s as good as any guy-gal jazz collaboration I’ve heard – and that includes Jackie and Roy, Scott and Ginger, and just about any other team that has picked up a mic, a piano and a Real Book.
The date is a stunner of swing, scat and smooth singing. Simon and Shaw are hand-glove in their approach to some classics (“Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid,” “Everybody’s Boppin’). Those work-horses are so hip and well-done here (with Tony Williams’ brilliant alto “seeing the light,” Bird-ing and “quoting” on all), they sound as new and as bright as the Baroness Nica’s nail polish. The pair also demonstrates that they have superb textural chops (“Love: Webster’s Dictionary,”“Miss Harper Goes Bizarre”). They can do it all and do it in style.
Simon has terrific pipes and can swing and scat with the best of them. And, she delivers it slowly with great feel, too (“Today You Are Born in My Eyes”). You can tell that she’s listened to the Great Ladies of Jazz. Vocally, Shaw’s no “mouldy fig,” either, and his keyboard stylings are as tasteful as they are swinging (“My Favorite Things” delivered by Simon with some fresh “name” lyrics). Bassist Craig Thomas and drummer Tony Green are outstanding throughout and help make this session spectacular.
Simon’s solo performance with rhythm section ends the evening’s Apple tour with a terrific “I’ve Got Just About Everything.” Since “Scrapple to the Apple” was their only recording – and it is a truly great one - sadly, we don’t. So, let Rick and Elsa have Paris. We’ll take 52nd Street – both of them.
(Posted on 5/11/2015)
- Scrapple to the AppleReview by Simon Sez
On their only recording together, Simon and Shaw sing bop classics associated with Eddie Jefferson, Louis Jordan, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross. Tony Williams (no relation to the drummer) helps out a lot on alto and flute. I especially enjoy “Everybody Eats When They Come To My House” and the funny “Oh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be.” Bebop lives on this CD!
Simon Sez: Scrapple From The Apple (IC1165), the only recording by 52nd Street has hot bop singing by Wendy Simon and Eric Shaw. It’s great.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)