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Nicholas Payton

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Publicists:
Maureen McFadden

Record Label Contact:
Smoke Sessions Records

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Though it’s never simple (or advisable) to pin Nicholas Payton down to a particular genre or style, the renowned trumpeter/keyboardist/composer’s two recent releases for Smoke Sessions Records have found him in relatively traditional acoustic trio mode. He was accompanied by the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington on 2019’s live Relaxin’ With Nick, then with the generation spanning trio of drummer Karriem Riggins and legendary bassist Ron Carter on 2021’s acclaimed Smoke Sessions.

But Payton, it turns out, had more transformative intentions in mind for the latter session. On his new EP Smoke Sessions (Remixed), due out March 8 via Smoke Sessions Records, he turns the raw material of four of the album’s tracks over to Riggins and the rising star multi-instrumentalist producer Tomoki Sanders to create remixed versions of the tunes refracted through the lens of the hip hop generation.

This post-modern hybrid approach to what others may view as disparate genres is central to much of Payton’s discography, so it certainly makes sense that he would hear the potential for such electronic reimagining in the music he recorded with Carter and Riggins. “Many of my projects have a remix component built into them already,” he explains. “I felt giving those types of production treatments to an all-live acoustic session would speak more to the times in which we live. It gives the folks a bit of both worlds.”

Riggins, the drummer for the original Smoke Sessions album, puts on his producer hat for three of the four tracks on the remix EP. It’s a role he’s as comfortable playing as the one he essays behind the drumkit – he’s done production work for many of hip hop’s most creative artists, including Common, The Roots, Erykah Badu and Kanye West.

“Production and mixing [are] a significant part of Karriem’s body of work,” Payton says. “I hired him as the drummer on the session with this in mind.”

For his part, Riggins refers to Payton as, “one of those geniuses… He set the bar high and it’s always super inspirational being around him and playing music with him."

The original “Levin’s Lope” already brought inspiration full circle, taking a Ron Carter-inspired bassline from Payton’s “Cyborg Swing” and giving it to the man himself; the oft-sampled Carter now provides robust inspiration for a new Riggins beat and swirling melody. Payton’s Rhodes playing on “Gold Dust Black Magic,” which also featured guitarist Isaiah Sharkey, ripples out into a cosmic dub beat in Riggins’ hands, while guest saxophonist George Coleman’s sultry tenor sound is shrouded in stark, airy new atmospherics until a bold, funky new beat hammers into place.

The EP’s final track is another case of ricocheting inspiration. The young, uncategorizable multi-instrumentalist Tomoki Sanders, who Payton calls, “one of my favorite up and coming musician/producers,” provided a beat that helped inspire the original version of “Hangin’ In and Jivin’;” his remix amplifies and reconstructs the muscular groove at the heart of the tune.

While he insists that, “it’s never my intent to decide what anyone gets from my music,” Payton does hope that Smoke Sessions (Remixed) helps cement in listener’s minds his notion that all music co-exists in a continuum, and that genre classifications are inherently limiting. It’s an argument that on these four tracks he makes through the most enticing and infectious of means.

“I hope it highlights there’s not such a disparity between more traditional styles and current ones,” he says. “It’s all just music.”

  • AVAILABLE NOW: Nicholas Payton | “Smoke Sessions (Remixed)” | Smoke Sessions Records - AVAILABLE NOW via Smoke Sessions Records   Innovative Trumpeter, Keyboardist and Composer Nicholas Payton Transforms the Music from Latest All-Acoustic Trio Album on New Remix EP, Smoke Sessions (Remixed)   EP Features Genre-Blending Remixes by Karriem Riggins and Tomoki Sanders and Special Guest Isaiah Sharkey   Though it’s never simple (or advisable) to pin Nicholas Payton down…
  • REMINDER: Nicholas Payton | “Smoke Sessions (Remixed)” | Available March 8 via Smoke Sessions Records - Innovative Trumpeter, Keyboardist and Composer Nicholas Payton Transforms the Music from Latest All-Acoustic Trio Album on New Remix EP   Smoke Sessions (Remixed) Due Out March 8, 2022 via Smoke Sessions Records EP Features Genre-Blending Remixes by Karriem Riggins and Tomoki Sanders and Special Guest Isaiah Sharkey   Though it’s never simple (or advisable) to pin Nicholas…
  • Nicholas Payton | “Smoke Sessions (Remixed)” | Available March 8 via Smoke Sessions Records - Innovative Trumpeter, Keyboardist and Composer Nicholas Payton Transforms the Music from Latest All-Acoustic Trio Album on New Remix EP   Smoke Sessions (Remixed) Due Out March 8, 2022 via Smoke Sessions Records EP Features Genre-Blending Remixes by Karriem Riggins and Tomoki Sanders and Special Guest Isaiah Sharkey   Though it’s never simple (or advisable) to pin Nicholas…
  • AVAILABLE NOW: Nicholas Payton | “Smoke Sessions” | Smoke Sessions Records - AVAILABLE NOW via Smoke Sessions Records Multi-Instrumentalist and Composer Nicholas Payton Realizes Long-Cherished Dream to Record with Iconic Bassist Ron Carter on Stunning New Album Album Features Longtime Collaborator Karriem Riggins and Special Guest Appearance by Legendary Saxophonist George Coleman Four-Song Remix EP Forthcoming featuring Remixes by Karriem Riggins and Tomoki Sanders Watch the EPK…
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  • The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars | “A Gift to Pops” | Available October 15 via Verve Records -   The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars Set to Release A Gift to Pops with Special Guests Wynton Marsalis and Common   Co-Produced by Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, and Jackie Harris with Liner Notes from George Wein   Available October 15 via Verve Records While New Orleans native Louis Armstrong passed away in…
  • Nicholas Payton | “Smoke Sessions” | Available October 29, 2021 via Smoke Sessions Records - Multi-Instrumentalist and Composer Nicholas Payton Realizes Long-Cherished Dream to Record with Iconic Bassist Ron Carter on Stunning New Album Album Features Longtime Collaborator Karriem Riggins and Special Guest Appearance by Legendary Saxophonist George Coleman   Smoke Sessions, Due Out October 29, 2021 via Smoke Sessions Records, Plus Four-Song Remix EP Forthcoming For a young Nicholas Payton,…
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Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton SMOKE SESSIONS _REMIXED_ Cover 3000px

Smoke Sessions

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Record Label:  Smoke Sessions
Release Date: March 8, 2022