Stablemates – 2021

Nicholas Payton

An explorative version of the Benny Golson standard with pianist Emmet Cohen’s trio

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Nicholas Payton has long been one of jazz’s great trumpeters even though he dislikes the word “jazz” and in recent times has been playing piano as much as trumpet.

For this 2021 performance with pianist Emmet Cohen, bassist Russell Hall, and drummer Kyle Poole, Payton explores Benny Golson’s “Stablemates,” the first of many Golson original to be recorded (by Miles Davis in late 1955).

The song is well disguised much of the time as the quartet gives “Stablemates” a treatment that recalls the Miles Davis Quintet of circa 1967.

Cohen builds up his solo to an intense level before cooling down and then Payton follows a similar if unpredictable musical path followed by some drum breaks and some blazing trumpet at the performance’s close.

-Scott Yanow


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