|This record comes out swinging hard and shows the versatility of all the musicians immediately. Slowing down to a Samba on the second track Payton quickly gets you in the mood for what he has to offer on the rest of the disc. Although the mood shifts around a bit, it gives you time to get your breath. There is some state-of-the-art ensemble playing by this group. This well assembled group really shows their stuff.
Over half of the tunes are written by Payton and the rest are some well chosen standards by the likes of Cole Porter and Kenny Dorham, but each tune sounds as if it were written for this group. Payton’s smooth trumpet lines mix with the rhythm section like these guys have been together forever. The chemistry is there. These men are dynamic and engaging as they work their way through a wide variety of styles of jazz.
|This doesn’t suprise me, knowing that Payton served as a trumpeter under Elvin Jones, George Wein, The Newport All-Stars, Clark Terry, and Doc Cheatham. He also has played in the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Louisiana Repertory Jazz Orchestras.
As for myself, being a guitarist, it is good to get to hear the bebop lines and chordal voicings of my instrument of choice blend in with such a fine ensemble. That is only one of the things that make this solid set of jazz so pleasant to the ear.
The line-up is as follows: Nicholas Payton-trumpet, Mark Whitfield-guitar, Mulgrew Miller-piano, Reginald Veal-bass, Monte Croft-vibes and Lewis Nash-drums.