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Nicholas Payton
Payton’s Place,  Verve CD 314 557 327-2, 1998

 Wide-ranging jazz trumpet fest

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton opens his latest album with a song called "Zigaboogaloo," a tribute to the great funk drummer Zigaboo Modeliste which is just as funky as its title implies. Over the underlying piano, bass, and drum groove, Payton just lays back and blows, in the same manner the powerful Freddie Hubbard could do back in his heyday. Elsewhere, Payton takes a commanding approach to the trumpet, whether he’s swinging into a spin on "Concentric Circles" and "With a Song in My Heart," or playing it cool as in "The Last Goodbye."

Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove join Payton for a musical sparring fest on a song called "The Three Trumpeters." It comes off sounding like "The Three Amigos" of jazz, only it’s more fun than that movie was, and it does without all of the cornball humor.

Much as his special guests Marsalis and saxophonist Joshua Redman did in their early days, Payton plays with precocious experience, making his relative young age irrelevant. So if your looking for the future of the jazz trumpet, Nicholas Payton’s place ought to be your very next stop.– Dan MacIntosh

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.