@ Lock 17 (formerly Dingwalls) 14 October 2004
& Pizza On The Park 28 April 2006
Click an image to enlarge.
Trumpeter/ composer/ bandleader / educator/ actor
Abram Wilson died of cancer on 9 June 2013. He continued performing
as long as he could, despite acute pain until his last gig in Teignmouth,
Devon on May 24.
I always seem to develop a slight nervous twitch of excitement
As well as slight doubt on my way to hear new material, or see an
artist I am not familiar with. The New Orleans born trumpeter, singer,
composer and producer, Abram Wilson falls into both of the above
categories, being unknown, and with unfamiliar material (to me anyway).
Such negative baggage manifested many years ago while reviewing
a promising, unfamiliar young trombonist who turned up to his own
gig over an hour late. And then proceeded to play to a bewildered
static audience without explanation. He continued for the next twenty
minutes, without addressing his audience at all. I promptly left
his gig without explanation.
In 2005 Abram Wilson was nominated for a MOBO in the Best Jazz
Act Category. In the same year, Wilson’s “Monk”
won first prize in the Jazz Category of the International Song writing
Competition (ISC). “Monk” was scrutinised together with
one thousand other songs. Submissions were judged on the basis of
creativity, originality, lyrics, melody and composition. In 2006
- Abram Wilson, in association with Jazz Services led a lively brass
powered protest outside the Royal Albert Hall...
It was clear to me within a few seconds of Abram arriving on stage,
that he was part of the new breed of young musicians. Instantly
courteous, with an air of agreeable confidence. Abram and his fellow
musicians commanded position on stage before setting to work.
Selecting tracks from his October 2004, Dune Records release “Jazz
Warrior” album, Abram quickly established a comfortable rhythm
that encompassed many genres. Jazz /Soul / hip-hop / rap with subtle
African reflections. Not only did he successfully achieve this blend
with ease. He was also able to give the blend a fresh and inviting
feel. (A feat many artists have attempted, but not successfully
Commanding complete attention from his awe struck audience, Abram
set the pace too which his accomplished fellow band members hungrily
followed. Driving home foot stomping rhythms with abounding energy.
He enticed his audience to participate with the thought provoking
anthem “Free myself”, and then tenderly wooing us with
his articulate vocals on “You wouldn’t know”.
It is clear Abram respects and acknowledges his many influences.
His lite, youthful treatment and vocals on the magical Stevie Wonder
classic “Golden Lady” was an added treat that did not
sound at all out of place.
I am confident Abram will continue to grow musically, impress and
win over critics and music lovers from different generations. (Again,
a feat many artists have attempted, but not yet accomplished).
Pizza On the Park
28 April 2006
I arrived twenty minutes late to this gig! Not a unique twist
in fate. I just have no sense of direction and I am obviously not
too embarrassed to mention it, though maybe I should be considering
my semi-slaughtering of an unnamed musician in my first paragraph.
Let’s face it… nobody was waiting on me!
By now Abram Wilson has truly established himself as a force to
be reckoned with in the ever-changing world of young up and coming
Jazz musicians. I was eager to see if he had changed in any way,
or lost his fire since our last encounter over a year ago.
He certainly has not lost anything. In fact his confidence, charm
and inventiveness has grown. I arrived just in time to hear his
broader, more mature vocals on “Golden Lady”. Coupled
with fresh straight ahead jazz material throughout, this set was
as refreshing as his lock 17 2004 gig.
Wilson is clearly on a mission to explore and does not seem ready
to rest on his laurels quite yet. With the assistance of his Jazz
Warrior colleagues, Wilson literally fills the stage with music…
he just keeps getting better.
Abram Wilson - trumpet & vocals
Shaney Forbes – drums
Nathaniel Facey – alto saxophone
Gwilym Watkins – piano
Patrick Clahar – tenor saxophone
Neil Charles – double bass
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.