Abram Wilson

COMPOSERS: Abram Wilson
LABELS: Dune
ALBUM TITLE: Abram Wilson
WORKS: Ride! Ferris Wheel To The Modern Day Delta
PERFORMER: Abram Wilson (trumpet, vocal); Errol Linton (harmonica) various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: CD0016
Abram Wilson’s record is vivid, sharp, conceptual, dark, powerful – but most of all, it’s brilliantly played. The British record label Dune has lately been specialising in a strain of jazz concept albums, but thus far they’ve let the music take something of a back seat to the central notion. Not so here: there’s elements of more popular currents than straight-ahead jazz in the set, but in the end Wilson, a gutsy, cleverly passionate trumpeter, trusts his band and his own playing to the point where instrumental jazz itself seems to carry the day.

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Undoubtedly, there are superb turns from Errol Linton and Nathaniel Facey in the ensemble, but what one takes away from the disc is a set of crafted and sharply presented band performances. And always, in every crevice of the music, the blues makes its considerable presence felt. To my mind, this is as playable a record as the British scene will produce this year, as well as being strong enough to stand on an international stage. Richard Cook