Concert: The Nicholas Payton Quintet
Donovan Bankhead, Tulsa Band Instruments, reporter
Fiery - Inspiring - Soulful - Exciting. These words are but a mere attempt to convey the power of Nicholas Payton's playing. He plays with so much emotion and passion that it's nearly illicit! Payton's playing is a unique mix of several influences, including such notables as Armstrong, Hubbard, Brown, Eldridge and Gillespie. He is able to synthesize these influences into his own unique "gumbo".
Payton has no qualms about sharing the spotlight with the members of his ensemble, each of whom could be classified as a "Young Lion". He allowed the members to show off their own musical virtuosity.
The concert featured a wide variety of music, from New Orleans style blues to more harmonically complex vehicles in the style of Coltrane, Tom Harell and other modern masters. Payton was comfortable in all of these settings - they seemed to fit him like a well-tailored suit. It is easy to see why such notable jazz trumpeters as Jon Faddis and Wynton Marsalis hold Payton in such high regard.
Payton definitely knows how to put on a good show. Besides his extraordinary playing, his charming "banter" was entertaining as well. This was a very polished performance by an excellent young musician.
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