Nicholas Payton Recruits Buster Williams and Lenny White for “The Couch Sessions”
It’s well known that the connection between a bassist and drummer is an essential one that can often make or break a musical situation. That’s why renowned multi-instrumentalist and composer Nicholas Payton tapped the legendary duo of Buster Williams and Lenny White for his latest record, The Couch Sessions.
“I decided to use Buster and Lenny for their shared history,” Payton says, “not only working with each other but also with my favorite artist ever – Miles Davis. There are a lot of connections between the artists on the album and the lineages that they either came out of or were integral in starting. Working with Buster and Lenny together was a bucket list item for me.”
Payton, first known for his trumpet playing, once again plays keys on the album, but he’s expanded his sonic palette by including samples. Many of the samples are interview clips from those gone on before, such as pianist Geri Allen’s voice while the trio performs her tune “Feed the Fire.” “Using voice samples from elders or ancestors is a way of adding a more direct context to my message, in the same way that lyrics often can,” Payton explains. “But hearing the voice of the actual person whose music you’re trying to transmit to the listener adds something extra. It gives me a different instrument to work with.”
One of the songs is an homage to Williams himself. “Bust-a-Move” was originally titled “One for Buster” before a pun from White led to its renaming. The song prominently features the bass as well as Buddhist cupped chimes and samples of Williams chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
The Couch Sessions Track List:
- Feed the Fire
- His Name is Lenny
- Bleek’s Blues
- Along Came Betty
- Watch It
- The Sorcerer
- Jazz is a Four-Letter Word
- From a Flicker to a Flame…