BYRON WALLEN is a UK jazz trumpeter and he’s just released his fifth solo album – his first for a very long 13 years! The new 12 tracker is ‘Portrait’ and Byron explains: “In ‘Portrait’ I am meditating on identity, culture and what it means to belong…the album pays tribute to the heart, soul and vibrant provenance of the community I call home”.
I’m guessing that part of that community is Plumcroft Primary School. The school’s choir helps out on three of the tracks – ‘Spirit Of The Ancestors’, ‘Voice Of The Ancestors’ and ‘Banana Man’. Elsewhere the band is Rob Luft (guitar), Paul Michael (bass) and Rod Young (drums). Not sure though whether it’s Young or Wallen on the drum solo track that is ‘Warren To Arsenal’. The album credits tell us that the trumpeter/leader also offers percussion (as well as shells and piano) while the Arsenal reference is another nod to community. Byron, you see, has lived in and around Woolwich for some time and the connection is even in the album art work –the cover picture was conceived by Woolwich-based artist Marc Drostle.
BYRON WALLEN; ‘Portrait’ out now on Twilight/Jaguar Records.