CD Dear Louis (CD 984279),
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1. Potato Head Blues
2. Hello, Dolly
3. I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You
4. Tight Like This
5. Interlude (St. James Infirmary)
6. On the Sunny Side of the Street - (featuring Dianne Reeves)
7. Dear Louis
8. Blues in the Night - (featuring Dianne Reeves/Dr. John)
9. Peanut Vendor, The
10. Mack the Knife - (featuring Dr. John)
11. Tiger Rag
12. I'll Never Be the Same
13. West End Blues
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 549 419
James P. Nichols
DEAR LOUIS is a tribute to Louis Armstrong.
Personnel: Nicholas Payton (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn, drums, vibraslap); Dr. John, Dianne Reeves (vocals); Tim Warfield (soprano & tenor saxophones, flute); Bill Easley (alto saxophone, flute, clarinet); Scott Robinson (baritone & contrabass saxophones, flute, bass clarinet); Ray Vega (trumpet, flugelhorn, guira); Paul Stephens (trumpet, flugelhorn); Vincent Gardner (trombone); Bob Stewart (tuba); Anthony Wonsey (piano); Melvin Rhyne (organ); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Reuben Rogers, Walter Payton (bass); Adonis Rose (drums, clave); Kenyatta Simon (triangle, percussion).
Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York from September 9-11 and on October 2, 2000. Includes liner notes by Nicholas Payton.
DEAR LOUIS was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.
Nicholas Payton's tribute to the great father of jazz, Louis Armstrong, is an endearing project that was years in the making. He first set out to salute jazz's roots with GUMBO NOUVEAU but fully realized his goal on DEAR LOUIS. Not unlike the work of fellow jazz conservationist Wynton Marsalis, Payton's music emphasizes the history of jazz through both his arrangements and his band's collective soloing styles. This is not trad jazz though, or anything even resembling it. Payton reharmonizes tunes such as "Hello Dolly," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and others in an attempt to keep the classic material of Pops Armstrong fresh.
Not surprisingly, DEAR LOUIS focuses on the brass section. Screaming trumpet figures dot the music and Payton uses all 13 tunes to showcase his soloing virtuosity. The tracks range from bluesy versions of "Mack the Knife" and "Tiger Rag" to Latin renditions of "The Peanut Vendor" and others. Payton also displays fine vocal abilities on the funky "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You" and the warm bossa nova "I'll Never Be The Same."
CMJ (4/30/01, p.25) - "...His interpretations have a horn-heavy, modern-day, post-bop feel with a bit more swing....Payton touches on different elements of New Orleans jazz like second line, mambo, R&B, swing and ragtime..."
Down Beat (1/02, p.49) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A mature, modern beauty of an Armstrong trib..."
Vibe (6/01, p.154) - 4 discs out of 5 - "...A modern interpretation of 13 Louis Armstrong classics....Like Armstrong in his heyday, Payton boasts the most recognizable tone of any living trumpeter and, in spirit, approaches music with the same creative ingenuity that made Armstrong famous..."
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