Music
9:34 am
Tue February 18, 2014

A modern take on fusion: Nicholas Payton XXX

Credit Roberto Dominguez / Fotografiandoeljazz
Appearing at Dazzle Jazz Thursday and Friday, 2/20 and 2/21, Nicholas Payton XXX is Payton on trumpet and Rhodes piano, Vincente Archer on bass and Joe Dyson on drums. 

New Orleans trumpet player Nicholas Payton has been celebrated as one of the finest young musicians of his generation. A prodigy who picked up his instrument at the age of four and started sitting in with professional bands by age nine, Payton seemed destined for greatness in the jazz world.

A stint in the early 1990s playing with drum legend Elvin Jones would lead to the young phenom to scoring his own recording contract with Verve by the time he was 20. Though much of his earlier work was from a traditional perspective (he scored a Grammy for his collaborative album with fellow Big Easy trumpet player, Doc Cheatham, while his 2001 recording For Louis explored the music of his New Orleans forefather, Louis Armstrong), Payton has spent much of the past decade exploring the electric jazz-funk sounds of the '60s and '70s. Taking up the Fender Rhodes piano (which he often plays simultaneously with the trumpet) and adding soulful vocals to his repertoire, the musician offered a modern take on fusion with his group Sonic Trance and his latest outfit, Nicholas Payton XXX.