Abram Wilson - Life Paintings (3 stars)

Abram Wilson - Life Paintings

(Dune Records)

Arkansas-born trumpeter Abram Wilson has been based in London since 2002, but grew up New Orleans, where he absorbed the city’s rich musical traditions and its potent trumpet heritage. That heritage is clearly reflected in his rich, open sonority and swing-based in-the-tradition sensibility, factors that are even more palpable in this purely instrumental quartet setting than on Ride! Ferris Wheel To The Modern Day Delta, its more diversely textured large ensemble predecessor.

With the exception of a couple of ballads, his compositions are cast in a sprightly uptempo vein, and are intended to express different aspects of human experience, the ‘life paintings’ of the title. It proves to be a largely celebratory series of vibrant aural canvases that includes a tribute to ‘Obama’, childhood evocations in ‘Rainbows and Fantasies’ and ‘Chasing Mosquito Hawks’, and the exuberant stop-go flow of ‘Rush Hour’. Pianist Peter Edwards also leads a hard-swinging rhythm section.

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