Ninety Miles: Boulder, CO, January 17, 2013
Payton is the new member of the group, known for a substantially different style to the group's original trumpeter, Scott. Payton works largely (but not always) in a fairly traditional jazz vein, while Scott has demonstrated a tendency, over the last several years, to explore some of the outer reaches of jazz, including melding rap and hip hop. On the other hand, both trumpeters are from New Orleans so, perhaps on that basis, the substitution had some logic to it, especially since New Orleans was one of the first ports of entry of the "Latin tinge" a hundred years ago. As the new man on the frontline, Payton seemed, at times, a bit tentative and when it came time to trade some licks around the frontline, that more often occurred just between Harris and Sanchez. For the most part, however, his ensemble playing was seamless and his solos were intricate and emotional. During his brief turn at the microphone between tunes, Payton acknowledged Colorado's recent passage of a law allowing recreational use of marijuana. He explained that "Ninety miles is the distance between Boulder and Kingston."
A documentary about the Ninety Miles project is underway. From the preview, it appears that the film will focus not just on the music, but also life in Cubawhich looks, in part, like a museum for 1950s American cars due to the trade embargo. Despite that deprivation, it's obvious from the music in the Macky Auditorium, that the Cuban spirit continues to thrive.