Nicholas Payton Night [email protected]

One of the three young lions (along with Christian McBride and Brian Blade) that have made a serious impact on the jazz world in the last few years, Grammy award winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton delivers a ripping platter of compositions much beyond his years. Payton demonstrates a mastery of his instrument and a command of the lexicon of jazz that has enabled him to play with greats like Joe Henderson, Clark Terry and Jimmy Smith. This is really no surprise considering Payton was a member of Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine when he was 19 years old, a truly astounding feat. Making a conscious decision to write the songs around the individual talents of his quintet, Payton forgoes the standard format on many of the pieces to create melodic and rhythmic workouts that are not merely retreaded bebop. The phrasing and melodies are definitely modern, yet contain enough non-angular melody to stay on this side of the avant-garde. When he does a standard like the sultry "Somnia," Payton adds a refreshing twist of odd phrasing, especially in the rhythm section (drummer Adonis Rose and bassist Reuben Rogers), creating a deceptively complex polyrhythmic foray out of a walk-in-the-park ballad. The combo of Payton and tenor sax man Tim Warfield, when playing lines in unison, are pleasingly reminiscent of Lee Morgan and Joe Henderson in the '60s, more for their feel and life affirming joy than technique. A solid addition to any jazz collection by an outstanding leader and his band. (Verve)