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REVIEW - BBC Jazz Hymns

Deep South Gospel Singalong, Thornden Hall, Chandler's Ford

 

Hymn sheets don't get much jazzier than this.

A 200 plus strong audience took part in a two and half hour long jazz flavoured hymn and spiritual singalong.

Tim Daykin, who hosts Radio Solent's Sunday faith programme, was the master of ceremonies for a show which starred Solent jazz legends Chris Walker and Colin Larn.

As part of The Deep South Gospel Four they are masters at taking audiences back to the spiritual gospel roots of traditional jazz.

They breezed through some old favourites including The Old Rugged Cross, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Amazing Grace, Precious Lord, Take My Hand and Abide With Me.

Chris, also of Real Ale and Thunder fame, did much to popularise the Jazz at Verspers programme which became the forerunner of many religious concerts by jazz bands in churches across England.

Singer and keyboard player Colin Larn has worked with many stars including Sir Cliff Richard on stage and TV on his gospel tours of the United Kingdom and Africa.

With his strong vocals and keyboard skills Colin soon had the audience hitting the top notes in this infectious singalong, including that famous football anthem You'll Never Walk Alone.

There were also some stylish solos from Chris Walker, switching effortlessly from clarinet to saxophone, who won much applause for his arrangement of The Lord's Prayer composed in African American spiritual style.

And Tim Daykin was drafted into the band for a tambourine solo.

The singalong came to a rousing end with When The Saints Go Marching In. It was a chance for football fans in the audience to get into cup final mode as the Saints prepare to step out onto that hallowed Wembley Turf.

 

Duncan Eaton - Southern Daily Echo.