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Nicholas Payton

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Reseña de álbum

Left turns don’t get much sharper than this one. Bitches features guest vocal appearances from Esperanza Spalding, N’dambi, Saunders Sermons, Cassandra Wilson, and Chinah Blac. Nicholas Payton does the rest — not just the trumpet, but all of the instrumentation, all of the songwriting, and most of the vocals. Those who have followed Payton’s career as a jazz musician with no interest in left-field R&B of the previous several years — including but not limited to Sa-Ra, the Foreign Exchange, Dâm-Funk, and Bugz in the Attic — will be thrown. Like those artists, Payton was born in the ‘70s and is inspired by R&B acts that thrived during that decade and the following one. In the liner notes, Payton cites Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Michael Jackson, and he might have an affinity for those who started as jazz instrumentalists prior to crossing into R&B during the ‘70s — Ronnie Foster, George Benson, Patrice Rushen, and Herbie Hancock, to name four of many. Bitches traces the cycle of a romantic relationship, from beginning to end, that dovetails with Payton’s broken marriage. Major points in the story line include the lively “Freesia” (a blissful duet with Spalding, who shines), the funky but furrowed “Truth or Dare” (the woman strays), the floating yet pensive “Indigo” (the man strays), “The Second Show” (the man is ready for a fresh start), the deceptively liquid “Don’t I Love You Good” (the man is somewhat embittered about the woman’s new love interest), and the gospel-tinted “Give Light, Live Life, Love” (where the man shakes off negativity and looks to the future). Throughout, Payton's voice carries an affable, conversational quality. He won’t be compared to his heroes listed above, but he certainly holds his own with his fellow vocalists here, and the lyrics and melodies are mostly top level (merely passable or goofy when not). The slower material, instrumentally reminiscent of Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes (circa “Love Beams”) and Roy Ayers Ubiquity (circa “Gotta Find a Lover”), is tasteful and solid, but the songs with chunky synthesizers and heavy drum programming, sometimes charmingly sloppy, are the real kick.


Nacido(a): 1973 en New Orleans, LA

Género: Jazz

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s, '10s

Trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Nicholas Payton was raised in New Orleans, a town chock-full of trumpet players and he originally followed in the footsteps of a mile-long line of tradition-based players including Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, and of course, Wynton Marsalis. Payton is the son of Walter Payton, a well-known bassist on the Crescent City jazz scene. His mother played piano. Given his upbringing in a musical family, Payton often spent upwards of ten hours a day practicing...
Biografía completa
Bitches, Nicholas Payton
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