Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Side Door Becomes Payton's Place

The impressive multi-instrumentalist and communicator Nicholas Payton returns to The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme this weekend for 2 nights, Friday and Saturday 11/21-22. The 41-year old native of New Orleans is best-known as a trumpeter but also plays trombone, saxophone, clarinet, bass and, in his Trio, keyboards.

He's been touring and recording with his Trio - Vincente Archer (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums) - for the past several years, releasing one CD, "#BAM: Live at the Bohemian Caverns" on his PAYTONE Records (the recording features Lenny White on drums). Payton is adamant about not using the word "jazz", especially for its derogatory and narrow definition, preferring to call his music "Black American Music."  And, if you have followed his career, he can and does play many styles of music, from the early days of Louis Armstrong to Thelonious Monk to funk to classical to a wonderful recreation of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaboration "Sketches of Spain." He's a splendid and inventive soloist, a thoughtful and incisive writer, plus his gigs are great fun.

Doors open at The Side Door at 7:30 p.m. with the Trio taking the stage for the first set at 8:30.  For this date, the fine young drummer Joe Dyson (Branford Marsalis, Stefon Harris, Esperenza Spalding) joins Payton and Archer so expect the music to have plenty of propulsion.  For tickets, go to or call 860-434-0886. Check out Nicholas Payton at

The New York Times published a fine article about The Side Door in its Metropolitan section this past Sunday (11/16) - you can read it by clicking on

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