DOC CHEATHAM — Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton (review)

DOC CHEATHAM — Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton album cover Album · 1997 · Original New Orleans Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Matt
Not bad at all when you are 91 years old and can still cut an album. Not only that it is even better that you can still blow a trumpet and sing beautifully in the tradition of Louis Armstrong for this style of classic New Orleans Jazz . Doc though whose real name was Adolphus Anthony Cheatham was going to be a pharmicist but kept the Doc. title and decided music was his preferred option back in the 1920's. Doc Cheatham's experience is diverse to say the least from Ma Rainey, Chick Webb, Machito, Perez Prado and Richie Ray but Louis Armstrong was his major influence and in the seventies gave his playing a revamp with self assesment and took up singing. Although he originally came out of Nashville this is pure New Orleans which is exactly where Nicholas Payton was born and bred with that precise feel to his tone and style which is apparent on his previous release "Gumbo Nouvea" being New Orleans themed as well to this collaboration with Doc Cheatham. Tom Ebert is on trombone and Dixie is his specialty with Les Muscott and although English is considered almost a native from New Orleans and is playing guitar but not banjo. Jack Maheu who plays clarinet was born in 1930 and has been playing almost as long with Dixieland being his style and moved to New Orleans in 1990 were he still resides. Butch Thompson on piano has been playing Trad Jazz and Ragtime for forty years and Bill Huntington the bass player usually plays with Elis Marsalis. Ernie Elly the drummer is another New Orleans musician and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been one of his gigs as well as the other trombonist on the album Lucien Barbarin who also is in Harry Connick Jr's band. Lucien Barbarin and Tom Ebert play individually on respective numbers. Nicholas Payton was only 23 years old at the time of this production bringing his exhuberance with Doc Cheatham's experience and thing gel beautifully throughout the entire album which although restrained it is complete New Orleans with a slight contempary touch.

Standards, classics whatever you may wish to term them this has them in bountiful proportions with the Irving Berlin composition being first " How Deep Is The Ocean" with both trumpeters opening together with Doc doing the first primarily but when he sings his age is apparent but there is no shake he is smooth as silk bringing such a wonderful old time feel to the tune with Nicholas and Doc finishing things off with great polish. "Jeepers Creepers" is given the full Dixie treatment and motors along quite nice with Doc bringing great feel with his vocals and Nicholas hits those high ones with great clarity trading licks with Doc. Jack Maheu not only plays a great solo with his clarinet but just listen to the end of the tune where he is amongst the trumpets and still loud and clear. Hoagy Carmichaels "Stardust" is the first instrumental and given superb treatment with its easy going approach and although you can tell who is who on trumpet you don't care with this great slow tune that just rolls along."Out Of Nowhere", just has the the two trumpets, guitar and bass with Nicholas playing above Doc with his pitch bringing a nice balance where the two of them take turns with solos. "I Cover The Waterfront" the Billy Holiday classic is all instrumental as is "Black And Blue" but both are unmistakable and played superbly. "Jada" is another unforgettable tune with Doc's vocals and when Doc is just repeating Jada in his lines you are hooked in to this delightfully played slow tune. " The World is waiting For The Sunrise" is the album closer and as trad as you could wish for with that skip from Nicholas on his trumpet between Doc's vocals and the clarinet is back and all kick in at the end in that grand New Orleans Dixie sound.

Doc Cheatham around the time of this albums release passed away and do not think that that any sentimentality is part of this review as this is one great album and not some "oh yeah" effort that so many artists release as they're last album and no one wants to tell the truth about. Doc Cheatham has come full circle if you look at his career and returned to the music that he played at the begining but all that experience just shines through and with the the exuhberance of Nicholas Payton this would be one of the best recent contempary Traditional New Orleans albums to appear in the last 14 years.
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