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Washington Post: Nicholas Payton's Nonesuch Debut "Fresh and Inspired"

Nicholas Payton: Into the Blue [cover]

Nicholas Payton, the headliner at last weekend's Main Street Jazz Fest in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, had performed at the New Orleans JazzFest the week before; it was in that city, his hometown, where Payton recorded his Nonesuch debut, Into the Blue, last fall. The Washington Post's Mike Joyce says the new album "boasts relaxed, self-assured performances" and calls it "a summing-up of sorts, an album that recalls some of Payton's previous acoustic and fusion-inspired work yet manages to sound fresh and inspired---even surprising."

A highlight of the album for Joyce is "the trumpeter's wonderfully evocative interpretation" of music from Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score for Chinatown. "Warm, spacious, and burnished," writes the reviewer, "Payton's balladry is hard to beat," with additional highlights coming from a "funk-charged romp" ("Nida"), a "smoldering Latin-tinged groove" ("Triptych"), and the "fiery, post-bop coda" ("The Charleston Hop (The Blue Steps)").

To read the review, visit