Nicholas Payton & the Television Studio Orchestra All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., March 9, 8 p.m. 2012

In November trumpeter Nicholas Payton stirred up a hornet's nest with a blog post in which he insisted that jazz has been dead for decades, cut off from popular music and starved of vitality. Jazz has been declared dead countless times in its history, of course, but Payton was attacking the word more than the music—he rejects it as a mere marketing term, loaded with archaic associations and racist baggage and applied to musicians whether they like it or not. He prefers the somewhat unwieldy but wide-open phrase Black American Music (BAM), which makes room for the entirety of what he rightly considers a long and complex lineage. He drove his point home last year on Bitches (In + Out), an album few would think to describe as "jazz." I'd call it R&B, more or less, and Payton played everything himself on its 15 tunes, all of them originals: drum machines, synthesizers, a bit of trumpet. He does some credible soul singing on each tune, and he enlisted other vocalists—including Cassandra Wilson, Esperanza Spalding, and N'Dambi—to make cameos. In the liner notes Payton writes that he was into hip-hop and R&B before he got into jazz, and much like pianist Robert Glasper (see Saturday), he recoils from any language that seems to confine his music to a small patch of aesthetic ground—which is exactly what he sees the term "jazz" doing. Tonight Payton leads a new 18-member big band called the Television Studio Orchestra through tunes that traverse the landscape of BAM, covering jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, and more. —Peter Margasak

Price: $22-$73

Add a review

Rating

Select a star to rate.