Trumpeter Nicholas Payton has distinguished himself over the decades as a continually evolving artist of significant vision, artistry and focus. He's a musician who knows, respects and displays his roots, knows where he's at now and where he's going creatively. Under his own BMF Records label, Payton recently released Sketches of Spain a new recording with Payton performing the Miles Davis/Gil Evans classic live--a daunting accomplishment. His original composition, Black American Symphony" is a forthcoming release. All About Jazz: Nicholas, on behalf of All about Jazz, I'd like to thank you for taking time today to speak with ...read more
Nicholas PaytonScullers Jazz ClubBoston, MAFebruary 24, 2011 Pressing the unmuted bell of his trumpet right up to the microphone, trumpet player Nicholas Payton invited, impressed, seduced and surprised the crowd at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. Yet he never assaulted the audience, despite power and confidence to burn. Immense energy was being channeled, but never restrained. Thursday's 8:00 pm set began at the darkest ends of both register and mood. Payton's velvety low register purred into a rich free-form wash alongside Lawrence Fields on both acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes, Kris ...read more
Trumpeter Nicholas Payton started out years ago as a musician known for being steeped in the traditions of his New Orleans origins. The young lion" of about fifteen years ago had a brash, bold sound. He even produced a Louis Armstrong tribute--Dear Louis (Verve, 2001)--and did an album working with the classy Armstrong contemporary Doc Cheatham--Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton (Verve, 1997). But he continued to grow and explore other avenues, showing contemporary influences with the release of Sonic Trance for Warner Brothers records in 2003.While continuing to explore musical avenues, his playing got better and better, consistently ...read more
This is a strange mixture of an album. It includes passages of extraordinary and singular beauty and others of noodling anonymity. Practically all of the interest lies in trumpeter Nicholas Payton's performances; most of the blandness comes from his band. The two best tracks, Drucilla" and Chinatown," are so exquisitely gorgeous that they almost make up for the grey stuff. But they're outnumbered and it's a tough battle.
The approximate dividing line is keyboard player Kevin Hays. Along with bassist Vicente Archer and percussionist Daniel Sadownick, Hays was a member of the larger group featured on Payton's previous ...read more
On the surface, Nicholas Payton's Sonic Trance is a fusion band. The leader occasionally tricks out his horn with effects, pianist Scott Kinsey moves over to electric keyboard from time to time, and percussionist Daniel Sadownick does his best to establish an Agharta vibe on congas. But there is no electric guitar in Sonic Trance, and Vicente Archer lays down the groove over the course of this hour-long concert solely on acoustic bass. Every trumpet player is forced at one time or another to confront Miles' legacy, and the better the trumpeter, the closer he can get to meeting it. ...read more
The term young lion" has followed Nicholas Payton for the duration of his budding career. Fueled by urban legends of Wynton's personal involvement, pressure for Payton must now seem par for the course. Judging by Sonic Trance, his new album for Warner Bros., Payton has survived and more importantly, matured from the industry's unforgiving process. This bodes well for the trumpeter, whose purity in tone and dynamic attack testify to his technical facility. Coupled with a sense of swing that warrants Wynton's praise, Payton's roar is worthy of evaluation. More than a handful of recordings later, young lion" seems hardly ...read more
Nicholas Payton's Sonic Trance" Iridium New York City October, 17, 2003
Nicholas Payton put the Big Apple in a Sonic Trance" one cool October evening. Iridium is a delightful dining place, which also happens to host the best acts in jazz. When you're in New York, head over to 1650 Broadway at 51st Street to get the low-down in mid-town.
Trumpeter Nicholas Payton brought his latest quintet with him. He also brought some of the hippest thoughts in jazz today. His thoughts have been translated into an exciting journey of sound called Sonic Trance, ...read more