is a very talented,
young, jazz trumpeter
. His father, Walter, is a top jazz
and his mother is a classical pianist
Nicholas was discovered
when he was 12 years old
when Wynton Marsalis
called the house for Walter,
and Nicholas played his trumpet over the phone for
Wynton. Since then Wynton has been instrumental
in helping further Payton's career, and with good
After touring with Marcus Roberts and later
drummer Elvin Jones, and recording
a swingin' trio album (with Christian McBride (bass)
and Mark Whitfield (guitar)) of Herbie Hancock
songs, Payton started his recording career as a leader.
Payton's Place is a pretty good album and features
tracks with Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove.
New out this year is Dear Louis, a tribute to
Louis Armstrong. Previously Payton recorded with
another icon of the jazz trumpet, Doc Cheatham.
Despite these and other successful
albums, most people agree that his playing in live
venues is much more animated and passionate.
Comparing the two albums of his which I own to the time
I saw him at the Iridium in NYC, I
have to agree. The CD's don't have the power and
intensity that Nicholas was able to emote with his
horn in the club setting.