Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton: Jeepers Creepers
Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton (Verve 537062)
Tom Ebbert (trombone), Les Muscutt (guitar), Bill Huntington (bass), Ernest Elly (drums).
Composed by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.
Recorded: New Orleans, September 9-11, 1996
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Trumpeter Nicholas Payton is a musician who deeply understands and has assimilated Louis Armstrong's legacy. Doc Cheatham, for his part, occasionally subbed for Louis back in the mid-1920s - more than four decades before Payton was born. Yet the duo bridge the Jazz Age and the Internet Age on this Grammy-winning recording, which was Cheatham's last studio project before his death at age 91. Payton's solo work here is outstanding, and if he outshines Cheatham, the latter still delivers a heck of a performance for a nonagenarian. Payton's unaccompanied intro is all too brief, but packs a lot of swing into a few bars. Cheatham's vocal won't make anyone forget Satchmo, but the trading trumpets interlude is a shining example of cross-generational camaraderie.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia