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Nicholas Payton: #Bam, Live at Bohemian Caverns

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Nicholas Payton: #Bam, Live at Bohemian Caverns
2013 BMF Productions

Nicholas Payton XXX
Nicholas Payton on Trumpet and Fender Rhodes
Vicente Archer on Bass
Lenny White on Drums

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 1, 2013

See a Review of Nicholas Payton XXX at Keystone Korner Nights at Iridium

This CD brings Nicholas Payton onto both trumpet and Fender Rhodes piano, one hand on each, with his two other XXX artists, Vicente Archer on bass and Lenny White on drums. There’s a contemporary, abstract, surreal quality to this music, and recording it live with audience feedback gives the listener the effect of participating in the broader musical experience.

Notable tracks:

#2 –Drad Dog – Composed by Miles Davis. This very bluesy track by Miles Davis opens and closes on deeply soulful, melodic tones on Fender Rhodes, but in between Payton shifts to an ethereal trumpet theme, somehow, his other hand keeping the Fender Rhodes chords atmospheric. The listener is drawn in slowly, with Archer’s bass richly earthy and White’s drums persistently diffused, but soon a starker, more atonal ambiance unfolds.

#4 –Pannonica – Composed by Thelonius Monk. Payton stays with his subtle trumpet throughout this track by Monk, with Archer’s bass leading into the vapory, vibrating theme. White’s almost quiet drums make an appearance with whisper soft brushes, and upon its last notes, this track begs to be heard again.

#6–The Return of the African Tinge – Composed by Nicholas Payton. As understated as was “Pannonica”, this track by Payton is a cacophonous mélange of Fender Rhodes, bass, and drums, no hand on brass here. Payton keeps the focus of this blistering bluesy creation on the electronic versatility of the Fender Rhodes’ mind-boggling chords that can seem orchestral and other-wordly.

#7 –Frankie and Johnny – Composed by Traditional. This well-known ballad takes on new dimension with only a touch of trumpet here and there, muted and forlorn, but a good deal of bass and drums in duo fusion. Payton’s Fender Rhodes adds depth, diffusion, and dimension in mellow musicality.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at