Nicholas Payton: Chinatown
Nicholas Payton (trumpet)
Into The Blue (Nonesuch 439100)
Nicholas Payton (trumpet),
Kevin Hayes (piano, Fender Rhodes), Vicente Archer (bass), Marcus Gilmore (drums), David Sadownick (percussion).
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
Recorded: New Orleans, released 2008
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Nicholas Payton, hailed by some as a young lion of jazz trumpet, takes a fresh approach in this offering. Predominately blues-based, Into The Blue is true to its name. "Love Theme from Chinatown," as originally titled, was the centerpiece of Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score for Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) starring Jack Nicholson. The soundtrack featured a memorably haunting trumpet solo played brilliantly by the underrated studio musician Uan Rasey with orchestration.
Nicholas Payton unabashedly takes on this challenge and confidently navigates the song's bittersweet sensibilities, creating a sensuously delicious mood of sultry, slow-steamed blues blended with the mystery of a Raymond Chandler novel. Conjuring up a shadowy back alley, Payton luxuriates in the mood with a deeply evocative tonal range that remains sparse yet elicits great feeling. No technical gymnastics here, just a soulful sound reminiscent of Terrence Blanchard's best scores. The subtle rhythm backing is marvelously in keeping with Payton's sensitivity, a quality too rarely displayed by today's trumpeters. Payton shows great savvy in choosing such subtle but penetrating music that somehow has been overlooked by others. It makes a wonderful vehicle for his artistry.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello