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Journal Names New Nicholas Payton, Brad Mehldau Tracks as Songs of the Day

On his Nonesuch debut, Into the Blue, Nicholas Payton and his quintet offer a unique rendition of "Chinatown," from Jerry Goldsmith's score of the 1974 Roman Polanski film of the same name. reviewer Ralph A. Miriello singles out the tune as Song of the Day.

"Nicholas Payton unabashedly takes on this challenge and confidently navigates the song's bittersweet sensibilities," writes Miriello, "creating a sensuously delicious mood of sultry, slow-steamed blues blended with the mystery of a Raymond Chandler novel. Conjuring up a shadowy back alley, Payton luxuriates in the mood with a deeply evocative tonal range that remains sparse yet elicits great feeling."

The reviewer cites "Payton's sensitivity" as "a quality too rarely displayed by today's trumpeters" and finds the track to be "a wonderful vehicle for his artistry."

To read the complete Song of the Day review, visit


The site recently named the Brad Mehldau Trio's version of Ray Noble's "The Very Thought of You," from the new Live CD, a Song of the Day as well, rating it 96/100. Reviewer Ted Gioia notes the pianist's deconstruction of the original, from "introspective trio ballad" through impressive, "fresh improvised lines" to "one of those surprising shifts that have become a specialty of this artist," all of which make the track "not just a novel approach to improvisation but a challenge to our very sense of jazz structure. You can't really compare this to jazz precedents. It sets its own."

That complete Song of the Day entry can also be found at