REVIEW: Abram Wilson Quartet, A New Orleans-Style Christmas Story, Turner Sims Concert Hall

First published in Music Reviews Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Feature Writer

A WARM slice of New Orleans at Christmas was served up to warm a chilly Southampton December evening at Turner Sims Concert Hall.

An extremely talented and charismatic trumpeter, vocalist, poet and more, Abram Wilson, pictured right, brought his stunning quartet to the venue for A New Orleans-Style Christmas Story.

The evening featured Abram’s short Christmas poems paired with soul-warming jazz.

They were joined by singer Myrna Hague who ratcheted up the style for the evening.

Her rich, warm vocals were the perfect accompaniment to the quartet and I would have gladly listened to her much more.

The poems and compositions covered such seasonal subjects as children being desperate to open their presents, being reunited with family members and sibling rivalry.

The real delight of the evening was watching all the musicians bouncing off each other and taking the compositions in unexpected directions.

Drummer Jason Marsalis drove the packed audience wild with an amazing, and exhausting-looking, solo during Soul Train.

Even double bassist Alex Davis put his instrument down to take it in.

It would have been impossible not to have been captivated by young pianist Reuben Jones, 18, whose talent was matched only by his enthusiasm as he bounced around on his stool while his hands whizzed over the keys.

It was clear that the band felt something special was happening on stage at the Turner Sims and I felt privileged to be a part of it.

A much-deserved encore ended the evening perfectly with a New Orleans jazz twist on the Christmas classic Winter Wonderland.

“If everyone had fun like this then we probably wouldn’t have any problems,” said Abram at the end of the night.

Stepping out of the auditorium into the cold night air, warmed by the experience we had just shared, it would have been hard not to agree.

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