Last spring I talked to Nicholas Payton for New Orleans’ OffBeat magazine. He had stated his own record label, BMF, and released a live CD recorded at Washington DC’s storied Bohemian Caverns. Payton was as provocative as ever, talking about his notorious blog entry, “On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore,” which included the line, “Jazz died in 1959.” And the live album was provocative too — heavy grooves, with Lenny White on drums, Payton’s longtime bassist Vicente Archer, and Payton himself playing both trumpet and Fender Rhodes, sometimes simultaneously.
On September 24, Payton will release a live concert performance of his interpretation of the Miles Davis-Gil Evans collaboration Sketches of Spain, with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the Sinfonieorchester Basel. They’re joined by Archer on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums, and Daniel Sadownick on percussion. And this Thursday, September 12, Payton brings his trio to Scullers in Boston for an 8 pm show.
“Music is inherently empty,” Payton told me in the OffBeat interview. “It takes a life lived to imbue a note or a set of chords or a rhythm with a feeling.” You can read the rest of the interview here. See you at Scullers!