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Nicholas Payton: Playing Strong and Playing Blue

By Published: May 12, 2008
"A certain percentage of people found it difficult to stay, so they had to move. Things have gotten a little better, but it's not what it was and I'm not exactly sure it will ever be the same. I don't think so. There's an opportunity for it to be—though not the same—perhaps better. But certain things have to be done in order for it to do so, and it just doesn't seem the right steps are being made, the right types of provisions are being made for people to stay, if they want to, and for people who are still displaced to be able to come back. Quite frankly, a lot of people have better situations elsewhere than they have here.

"This has affected not only the city, it's a reflection of this country and where our priorities need to be. But we have an opportunity here to do something positive and it's going to be up to us to see how this all pans out, not only for New Orleans, but for the country. It depends on the people's participation."

Meanwhile, Payton's reputation is strong and his performances always well received. He's busy for the year, touring in support of the new record. His schedule also includes a trip to Norway in the summer to participate in a special project with Maria Schneider. She will be doing arrangements for the Norwegian Wind Ensemble on the music from Miles Davis' and Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess (Legacy, 1958) project. Payton, who will also bring drummer Gilmore and a bassist, will, of course, provide the trumpet voice once laid down by Miles. No doubt, it will be done in Payton's own fashion. He has the style and the clarion tone to carry it off.

"I'm really looking forward to doing that. I've never worked with Maria before," says Payton.

Selected Discography

Nicholas Payton, Into the Blue (Nonesuch, 2008)

Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Momentum (Nonesuch, 2005)

John Ellis, One Foot in the Swamp (Hyena, 2005)

Nicholas Payton & Sonic Trance, Live in New York 1.24.04 (Kufala, 2004)

Greg Osby, Public (Blue Note, 2004)

Nicholas Payton, Sonic Trance (Warner Bros., 2003)

The Headhunters, Evolution Revolution (Basin Street, 2003)

Nicholas Payton, Dear Louis (Verve, 2001)

Nicholas Payton, Nick @ Night (Verve, 2000)

Ray Brown, Some of My Best Friends Are...The Trumpet Players (Telarc, 2000)

Abbey Lincoln, Wholly Earth (Polygram, 1999)

Nicholas Payton, Payton's Place (Verve, 1998)

Renee Rosnes, Ancestors (Blue Note, 1995)

Elvin Jones, Youngblood (Enja, 1992)

Photo Credits

Top Photo: Courtesy of Nicholas Payton

Middle Photo: Guy Fonck

Bottom Photo: Mark Sheldon

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