I Wanna Taranna Pt. 12: BMV #12 (3-For-$10 #4) Nicholas Payton – Dear Louis
I’ve loved Armstrong longer than I could put a year reference on it, and Payton is one of the new generation of players I admire, so this was a natural for me to grab as a part of the 3-for-$10 deal. Even more so because I saw another copy of it in the regular jazz section for a few dollars more. Sweet find!
And as you can probably imagine, these run-throughs of Armstrong tunes are truly great, but if you’re expecting simply straight renditions of the originals, you won’t find them here. Payton has an 11-piece swing band offer arrangements that imbue these tracks with an energy and difference that makes them sound new again. There are so many solos from all the players that improv class is in session full-time, too! He has guest performers (Dr. John, Dianne Reeves) along too, and several of the songs go for Latin rhythms, which might be off-putting to purists but which I found completely refreshing and compelling. Opinions online seem divided on this one, with some even outright hating on it, but for me it was a fun, liberating and excellent disc. For those who hated on it (online), not every tribute has to do note-perfect renditions. Louis already made those versions you know so well, and Payton smartly avoided the trap of recreating them here.