Nicholas Payton Fulfills Dream With “Smoke Sessions”

Nicholas Payton: Smoke SessionsLike many musicians, multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Payton dreamed of recording with one of his heroes: Ron Carter. That dream came true and now we can all enjoy the reverie on the new album, Smoke Sessions.

Payton, who is joined by drummer Karriem Riggins, also enlisted special guest saxophonist George Coleman for the record. That made the sessions even more special, as both Carter and Coleman were on an iconic live album that launched Payton’s musicianship.

“Miles Davis’ ‘Four & More’ was the album that really inspired me to take up music seriously,” he explains. “Ever since then, Ron Carter has been an idol and a favorite musician of mine. As long as I’ve been leading bands I’ve patterned my choice of bassists by the metric of how much Ron they have in their playing. When I’ve looked for pianists in my band over the years, it’s often predicated on how much Herbie they have in their sound. So this album is really a dream come true for me.”

Payton plays trumpet, piano, and keys on the album, and he plays them all well. After the sessions, Carter said “I was quite pleased and had fun playing with him as a piano player as well as a trumpet player. Listen to him play trumpet. He’s listening to my response to what he does — if the trumpet players of today want to try to put him in a place, he should be up there because he listens to what the bass player contributes to his solo.”

Smoke Sessions is available now on CD and as a digital download (iTunes and Amazon MP3).

Smoke Sessions Track List:

  1. Hangin’ and a Jivin’
  2. Big George
  3. Levin’s Lope
  4. No Lonely Nights
  5. Lullaby for a Lamppost (for Danny Barker), Pt. 1
  6. Lullaby for a Lamppost (for Danny Barker), Pt. 2
  7. Q for Quincy Jones
  8. Gold Dust Black Magic
  9. Turn-a-Ron
  10. Toys

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