Al Goyens was a Belgian jazz trumpet player who played in the mainstream and swing idiom.
After piano lessons at a young age, he started playing the trumpet in 1936. Basically self-taught.
He spent part of World war II in captivity, then joined the bands of Jean Omer and Henri Van Bemst and after the war, of Léo Souris, with whom he toured in Germany for the US army.
Back in Belgium, he forms the house band of the Cosmopolite, which gives him the opportunity to perform with many well known jazz figures during their stay in Brussels.
He played in various big bands and small bands, with many well known Belgian and American jazzmen.
The photo above shows him jamming with Clark Terry.
In 1949, he toured with his own big band in the US army bases in Germany, in the US.
He lives for a while in France.
He comes back to Belgium in 1958 (the year of the Brussels Worlds Fair). He becomes the assistant of Eddie De Latte's big band, then tours with a band that also includes Sadi in Spain, still for the US forces.
In his consecutive bands, he used musicians such as Jacques Pelzer, Bobby Jaspar, Sadi, Don Byas, Jean Warland, Francy Boland, Freddy Rottier, Freddie Deronde, etc...
He also led a band which he called the Brussels Big Band was for a while the manager of the "Blue Note" jazz club in Brussels (in the 60ies).
He names Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry as his favorite trumpet players, but his own style is closer to Harry "Sweets" Edison.
(Inspired by the "Dictionnaire du Jazz en Wallonie et à Bruxelles", more specifically an article written by Michel De Rudder.)