Nicholas Payton is New Orleans royalty. The son of bassist Walter Payton and a student of jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis, the trumpet player comes across like a modern-day Satchmo on albums such as Gumbo Nouveau and Dear Louis — his outsized chops and impeccable taste placing him well within the continuum of the Crescent City's storied line of trumpet kings.
However, Payton's recordings of the past several years have been more Blue Note-era cool than Bourbon Street hot, as the trumpeter has explored electronica and fusion (2003's Sonic Trance) and the music of modern master Wayne Shorter (2006's Mysterious Shorter). On 2008's Into the Blue, Payton offers a set of mostly mellow, chill-out jazz that calls up Miles Davis at his moodiest.
His current touring group, featuring pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Corey Fonville, and percussionist Daniel Sadownick, will close out this season's South Florida jazz concert series. Payton and company will also perform July 29 at the Coral Gables Congregational Church.