@ 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 accomplished).
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
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
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
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