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Nicholas Payton is a very talented, young, jazz trumpeter from New Orleans. His father, Walter, is a top jazz bassist 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 cause too.

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.

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