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MUSICIAN Born:

Byron Wallen

Byron was raised in a musical environment and started learning his first instrument, the piano, at an early age. He then went on to study the trumpet with Jimmy Owens, Donald Byrd and Jon Faddis in New York. His early music career was forged while he was studying for a degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Maths at Sussex University (he graduated in 1992). During this period he recorded for Loose Ends and Cleveland Watkiss, and played trumpet with the likes of Mervyn Africa, The Style Council, Charles Earland, Courtney Pine and Jean Toussaint. By the late 90s his work was receiving world wide attention and his fluent trumpet, firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, could be heard performing with a myriad of artists such as David Murray, Andrew Hill, Butch Morris, Ralph Moore, Billy Higgins, Eddie Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, William Orbit, Toumani Diabate, Brice Wassy, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws and Chaka Khan

Life Is The Dancer

Label: Edition Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Berlin; Life Is The Dancer; All Ways Moving; One Day In Romentino; Tanpura; Synesthesia; Other Wise; Snow Country; Sad Star; Expect The Unexpected.

Portrait

Label: Twilight Jaguar
Released: 2020
Track listing: Anthem (Epilogue); Each For All And All For Each; Alert; No Stars No Moon; Warren To Arsenal; Fundmental; Ferry Shell; Spirit Of The Ancestors; Banana Man; Holler; Voice Of The Ancestors; Anthem (Prologue).

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Denys Baptiste: Pathfinder For The New London Jazz

Read "Denys Baptiste: Pathfinder For The New London Jazz" reviewed by Chris May

Bandleader, composer and educator Denys Baptiste is among the generation of musicians, many of them of Caribbean or African heritage, who pointed the way for the younger players who have emerged on the London jazz scene since around 2015. Baptiste's contemporaries include saxophonists Jason Yarde, Soweto Kinch, Steve Williamson and Courtney Pine, and trumpeter Byron Wallen, ...

New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums

Read "New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime trying to get on an equal footing with its American parent, British jazz has finally come of age. Since around 2015, a community of young, London-based musicians has forged a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of many of its vanguard players. The scene ...

Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

It would be hard if not impossible to compile an Afrobeat Top Ten which was not wholly made up of Fela Anikulapo Kuti albums. Such was Kuti's centrality in the creation and development of Afrobeat, such was the productivity of his recording career--his catalogue totals more than fifty albums, not counting reissues and compilations--and such was ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rob Luft: Life Is The Dancer

Read "Life Is The Dancer" reviewed by Chris May

British guitarist Rob Luft's debut album, Riser (Edition, 2017), was greeted with huge acclaim. Some observers likened his arrival to the emergence of Wes Montgomery or Pat Metheny. The music world is used to hyperbole, but for once the praise is justified. For anyone yet to hear Luft, a useful yardstick is the pianist Bill Evans: ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Byron Wallen: Portrait

Read "Portrait" reviewed by Chris May

An all too rare event, an album from Byron Wallen. The British trumpeter is part of that cohort of musicians who immediately preceded, and continue to inspire, the young London rebels who have been renewing British jazz since around 2015. So, too, is this album's drummer, Rod Youngs. Youngs was born and raised in the US, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jean Toussaint: Live At The Jazz Cafe 091218

Read "Live At The Jazz Cafe 091218" reviewed by Chris May

Most times, the transatlantic flow of jazz musicians is from east to west. Less frequently, as with Jean Toussaint's relocation from New York to London, it is contrariwise. Hot from four years as a member of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers's Jazz Messengers, Toussaint arrived in Britain in 1987. He soon established himself as a ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

We Out Here: The Fast-Forward Evolution of British Jazz

Read "We Out Here: The Fast-Forward Evolution of British Jazz" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime in the shadow of its American parent, British jazz is finally coming of age. A community of young, London-based musicians is forging a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the modern Caribbean and African cultural heritages of the majority of its vanguard players. The music also addresses the race, class ...


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