The Nicholas Payton Quintet – Live in Burghausen

It’s been a while since a shared some music.

Here’s a YouTube clip . . .

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3xjmQXtBTE&w=560&h=315]

as well as a link to download files to listen to while chillin’ or on-the-go.

http://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJZT2pBNDRiV3pLd01UQw

St. Nicholas has come early this year. Every day is Black Friday!

Please share with whomever . . .

#BAM!

– Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop aka The Creator of #BAM!

An Open Letter to Branford Marsalis . . .

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you An Open Letter to Branford Marsalis.

WARNING: This broadcast contains no obscenities (unlike Branford’s last JazzTimes interview which is replete with the usage of  “F” and “S” bombs.)

‘Sup, Branford:

First, let me thank you for restating my argument and making my point for me. Now allow me to completely dismantle most everything you’ve said about Black American music and Nicholas Payton — with your own words.

On The Black Issues Forum . . .

There was a video someone hipped me to several months back with you speaking on #BAM. This was in the heat of the fire when I was getting blasted from all sides on the issue of Black American music. I addressed several “open letters” to many of the dissenters. I didn’t comment on every attack because they were so numerous it would have consumed all of my time and I didn’t want to indulge in any more negative energy than I deemed necessary. Though it was very tempting for me to outline point-by-point the fallacy in your statements, I decided I would let it go. (Video posted below).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8-7VSgYBu4&w=560&h=315]

It’s interesting that in this video right before your attack of the idea of Black American music, you say “I didn’t grow up with the idea of genre. . . . Genres don’t really exist. Human beings, for whatever the reason, we feel comfort in categorization. I think probably because it allows us not to have to think too much.” Exactly, Branford. I agree. You go on to say, “We all live in these narrow worlds that we consider large and expansive, and then something occurs that is about to expand your world, and you say ‘No, no, no, no, no. I have my world right here. I don’t need you coming in here and messing up what I know because then that’s going to change everything that I think. But then there’s those people who are just like, ‘Man, there’s so much I don’t know; let’s go get some of this, let’s go get some of that. Let’s go find out about this.’ And, I always had that kind of curiosity and I was lucky enough to live in a city where it embraced that idea.”

It’s interesting you note in the above video that some people reject a broader perspective because a more expanded view forces them to change the way they’ve looked at something their whole lives and they don’t want to have to think about reevaluating their views. Isn’t that exactly what you’ve done with #BAM? How ironic!

Well, Branford, I’m from that same city you speak of; born in a musical family just like you. Our fathers played music together, they both taught music in the Orleans Parish Public School System, and embraced a genre-free ideal of Black music.

You fundamentally agree with everything that I’ve said, but why the dissent? It doesn’t diminish your shine to acknowledge someone else’s brilliance. It takes a real man to recognize that there are other cats of note who are torchbearers. It’s particularly reminiscent of that way The “Marsalis” Coterie attempts to control the conversation and dismisses anyone who disagrees — that I’m all too familiar with. It’s easier to be dismissive of a new idea than to admit that maybe you’ve been wrong in your thinking, especially if someone else made that proposition.

You said that I said my point of view is superior to all other points of view because I am Black. This is a lie. Nowhere did I say that. Nor did I say people of other races can’t play this music. In fact, I’ve made it explicitly clear that anyone can play this music, but Black people created it. This is not a point of view or an opinion, this is a fact. You may not like the way I said it, but this was historically well-documented before I was born.

You also reference a question I posed on Facebook which was: “Why doesn’t Mulgrew Miller get the love that Brad Mehldau gets?” This was not to attack Brad as much as it was to highlight the fact that — though it is a Black American art form — it is controlled and dominated by Whites. These are stems of colonialism and imperialism that have plagued Black people since they crossed the shores of the Atlantic from Africa. You made the same observation while in attendance at a Michael Brecker concert where you asked your pianist, Joey Calderazzo, if John Coltrane would have gotten the same amount of standing ovations.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyvdXUixo2o&w=560&h=315]

A slight sidebar, but worth discussion: You say that Americans don’t feel a need to support nationalist superiority and we haven’t had wars fighting for national sovereignty? What about the Cold War? Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Vietnam? The Middle East? Wow, you really bought into American White denial, haven’t you? This revisionist idea that America is the land of the free. America is the capital of imperialism and nationalism. Were it not for American nationalism, Black people wouldn’t even be here. Even a perfunctory knowledge of American history would enable you to see that. Next thing you’ll be saying is not only did Christopher Columbus discover America, but he invented jazz.

You close your argument by saying that Blackness in America is a cultural identity, and I completely agree. Black American music is not a genre, it is the truth. It’s not a style, it’s a communal expression that evolved from enslaved Africans who were transplanted from their home to America. It is not African music. It is not African-American music. It is Black American music. This is not territorial any more than saying Afro-Cuban music, Brazilian music, Celtic music, or any other music of ethnic origin.

On The JazzTimes Article . . .

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jt branford article right

Bill Milkowski, the journalist, asked what your thoughts were on my supposed “diatribe,” and before he could finish the question, you say: “There’s no topic there. There’s nothing there.” That’s interesting. A year after I started the conversation, you’re still talking about it. There must be something there for you to have already had an opinion raring to go. You say it doesn’t matter, but the fact that it’s Black American music is actually the most important part. This music was fundamental in breaking down the climate of racial oppression all over the world. It’s the world’s first popular music and instrumental in making the White race reexamine its position of people of color not being human.

A key thing that many don’t seem to understand is that Black American music is not a replacement for the term “Jazz”. It is the umbrella under which all manner of the Black American musical aesthetic lives. Gospel, Blues, so-called Jazz, Bebop, R&B, Soul, and Hiphop are the same communal expression of the same people. The only things that differ are the eras and the individuals who created it.

The whole premise of the proposition of Black American music are two basic facts: 1) Jazz is a disdainful term of dubious origin. 2) Black Americans created it.

As LeVar Burton used to say on Reading Rainbow, “But you don’t have to take my word for it.”

sbechet

“What does Jazz mean to you when I come up behind you: ‘Jazz,’ I say, ‘what does that do to you? That doesn’t explain the music. But let me tell you one thing: Jazz, that’s a name the white people have given to the music. There’s two kinds of music. There’s classic and there’s ragtime. When I tell you ragtime, you can feel it, there’s a spirit right in the word…But Jazz, ­ Jazz could mean any damn’ thing: high times, screwing, ballroom. It used to be spelled Jass…”

– Sidney Bechet

“By and large, jazz always has been like the kind of man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with. The word ‘jazz’ has been part of the problem. In the 1920s I used to try to convince Fletcher Henderson that we ought to call what we were doing ‘Negromusic.’ But it’s too late for that now. This music has become so integrated you can’t tell one part from the other so far as color is concerned.”

– Duke Ellington

So what I propose is absurd? But are Bechet and Ellington absurd? If there was nothing there, why were they talking about this decades before we were born?

If you look in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, every synonym for “JAZZ” is a pejorative:

Synonyms: applesauce [slang], balderdash, baloney (also boloney), beans, bilge, blah (also blah-blah), blarney, blather, blatherskite, blither, bosh, bull [slang], bunk, bunkum (or buncombe), claptrap, codswallop [British], crapola [slang], crock, drivel, drool, fiddle, fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, flannel [British], flapdoodle, folderol (also falderal), folly, foolishness, fudge, garbage, guff, hogwash, hokeypokey, hokum, hoodoo, hooey, horsefeathers [slang], humbug, humbuggery, nonsense, malarkey (also malarky), moonshine, muck, nerts [slang], nuts, piffle, poppycock, punk, rot, rubbish, senselessness, silliness, slush, stupidity, taradiddle (or tarradiddle), tommyrot, tosh, trash, trumpery,  twaddle.

Black American music wasn’t called “JAZZ” to begin with . . .

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“I moved back home with my mother. I was working at Tom Anderson’s Cabaret ­ located on ‘Rampart…Lots of Big Shots from Lulu White’s used to come there…And I was playing the Cornet. We played all sorts of arrangements T’wasn’t called ‘Jazz’ back there in those days They played a whole lot of Ragtime music. We called it Dixie ­ Jazz, in the later years.”

– Louis Armstrong

You said if I think changing the name will make people like it, that’s absurd. When you take into account many people don’t like it — not because of how it sounds — but because it’s “Jazz,” it makes sense that a title more fitting would give it new life and get people to see the continuum of Black American music in a new light. I’m not saying a name change is a cure-all, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

The most ridiculous thing that you said — and there are many — is:

“If you believe there are people making decisions about music based on cultural ignorance or arrogance, then there is an argument to be made for that. The whole idea of European jazz is that argument. You have people who say they want to play jazz and at the same time they want to pretend that Black American culture doesn’t even exist and has no part of the discussion.”

Branford, I have a solution to that argument: Stop calling it “JAZZ” and call it Black American music. End. Of. Argument. Thanks again for outlining the whole impetus behind the Black American music movement.

You sight a story about a friend of yours who was told by a professor that the diminished chord has been used in Jazz since Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans. When the student sighted Duke Ellington, the teacher told him if he did, it was a mistake! Before all of them did it, Dippermouth Blues used the diminished chord in its intro.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsMYSeqBQEk&w=420&h=315]

Saying, “When Black musicians used this chord was a mistake,” is racial coding for, “Those Negroes aren’t sophisticated enough to have known what they were doing.” With “mistakes” like this, perfection is overrated.

This is yet another reason why people need to know this is Black American music; calling it Jazz allows many to forget the people it comes from and makes the art subject to the kind of whitewashing we’ve seen in all corners of Black culture.

You say in school one of your teachers told you Charlie Parker played eighth-note triplets as the swing feel, to which you said, “Naw, that’s not true.” But the fluctuation of the triplet is exactly what set Charlie Parker apart from his predecessors. Ask Barry Harris. His whole pedagogy of Bebop is based on the triplet feel. 

Since you said I never qualify my arguments in musical terms — another lie — I did a piece (pre-#BAM movement) breaking down in specific musical terms the connection between Charlie Parker’s music and the triplet. See post: Dissertation On Bebop and Hiphop

You substantiated your claim by saying, “Because I played in orchestra, I know that [triplet] feel very well.” By orchestra, I assume you mean, classical. So you legitimize, or denigrate, a Black expression by the measure of a European litmus test? That’s a faulty analysis.

For more on the fallacy of applying European ideals to Black music: On The European Influence in Black American Music

A symptom of being oppressed is accepting the standards of your oppressor as your own. It’s the House Negro syndrome. “Bill Milkowski ( a White dude) calls Payton’s stance a diatribe, so I’ll call it a diatribe, as well.” Calling what I’ve said about Jazz a diatribe is racial coding for calling me an angry, Black man. Telling me I can further my argument just by playing my horn is code for, “Boy, do your job by playing that horn like a good Nigger should.”

fdkansas2

“Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work. A silent slave is not liked by masters or overseers. ‘Make a noise, make a noise,’ are the words usually addressed to the slaves when there is silence among them.”

—Fredrick Douglass

What I do on the bandstand is exactly why the #BAM argument has had such life and traction; because I said it. Had some jackleg trumpeter said it, no one would care.

Instead of constantly trying to find fault in me — someone who has done his homework and represents a high level of artistic integrity — why not call to task the real people behind the problem in this music? I know why, because those are the folks who sign your paycheck. It’s the same reason the Civil Rights Movement imploded on itself. You can’t get all Black people on board to further their liberation. The caste system has been deeply ingrained and most are more fearful of freedom than the plantation. Oppression survives because you can always find a “Tom” nigger to sell out his brother.

An oppressed mind speaks the language of their oppressors, adopts their mindset, and their vision of themselves is colored by the colonialist mentality they’ve been conditioned by. They don’t know themselves outside of their master’s vision of them. Any effort to deconstruct the distorted image is shunned as it’s easier to accept what they’ve been sold.

assata shakur

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”

–Assata Shakur

You criticized the rebuttal piece I did in reference to Ben Ratliff’s Four Pianists On The Rise, by saying what I chose to do is talk about their whiteness. Whose whiteness? Ratliff’s or the pianists’? My point was: it’s odd that on a list of “Jazz” pianists in New York City, no Black Americans were included. It would be tantamount to a list of best Mariachi bands with no Mexicans. I was clear to state that no one should have made the list just because they’re Black, but to have a list of up and coming pianists in an art form created by Black Americans and none are Black Americans? That’s absurd!

It speaks to the amount of control the White critical establishment has in saying who’s hot and who’s not; which is a vestige of colonialism. Not that what they say ultimately matters — but in terms of visibility for this music and its artists — it serves as a means of sustaining viability in a field of practice that has been largely ignored.

nick payton

The power of prophesy is not the ability to predict the future. It’s knowing history so well — you can sense when it’s coming back around again.

– Nicholas Payton

You say, “…whenever things are presented to me that are counter to my way of thinking, I don’t have to discredit it.” But that’s exactly what you’ve tried to do here, Branford. Discredit what I’ve said without even reading it first — by your own admission — and being fed second-hand information and having a knee-jerk reaction to it. In fact, what you’ve done is worse than discredit me. By saying, “There’s no topic there. There’s nothing there.” you don’t even recognize my voice. I’m as invisible to you as Clint Eastwood’s imaginary Obama in a chair.

To say it’s not a topic or it doesn’t matter, you sure have a lot to say about the subject.

You claim to have better things to do than to engage in subterfuge, but just about everything you’ve introduced as your stance against me and Black American music is subterfuge; an ad hominem argument that has little to do with what I’ve said and serves to deride me and derail the listeners toward your deceitful point of view.

Lauded as one of the “young lions” of the ’80s, the new millennium has shown you to bear more resemblance to a paper tiger.

1 #MFCOMN

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRxrCBvt7TM&w=420&h=315]

This is a test. . . . Only a test.

#BAM

– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM

On The European Influence in Black American Music . . .

Who invented harmony? Harmony exists in nature. We are harmonic beings. We are rhythmic beings. Black Americans didn’t invent harmony; neither did Europeans. Because many Black American musicians have been influenced by European harmony it doesn’t take away from the fact their music is a Black expression.

 Mama Zora Was Feisty 

zora neale hurstonBecause Zora Neale Hurston wrote and thought in the English language it does not make hers any less a Black story. Like Louis Armstrong, Zora’s legitimacy was questioned because she wrote in dialect. Before Louis Armstrong, the trumpet was used sparingly as a solo instrument in orchestral settings in comparison to how they were used post-Pops. Pops also had the benefit of a coming along at a time where the trumpets were technically superior to those of the past. The trumpet was a bastard instrument until Pops put his imprint on it.

170px hector berlioz crop“Notwithstanding the real loftiness and distinguished nature of its quality of tone, there are few instruments that have been more degraded (than the trumpet). Down to Beethoven and Weber, every composer – not excepting Mozart – persisted in confining it to the unworthy function of filling up, or in causing it to sound two or three commonplace rhythmical formulae.”

-from Hector Berlioz’s Treatise on Instrumentation (1844)

Clarke Bars

Check this letter from cornet master Herbert L. Clarke for what he thought of the trumpet:

clarke bengeletter1

As fanatical as this letter appears to be, I do agree that JAZZ is the nearest hell.

My Teacher Vinny

image3013My teacher Vincent Chicowicz (left) of the famed brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1952-1974) once told me that he and Adolph Herseth looked to Louis Armstrong as the standard for how a trumpet should sound.

It’s interesting to me that many of the same people who think Black American music isn’t valid because it doesn’t adhere to a European aesthetic are the same people who try to claim ownership by saying it employs European harmonies. Classical music is often called “legit” music. Does that make all non-European forms of music illegitimate?

Stravinsky and Chanel

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Because Stravinsky was influenced by Black music it doesn’t make his expression less indicative of the European aesthetic. Because Bird was influenced by Stravinsky it doesn’t make his expression less indicative of the Black American aesthetic.

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Blue Seven

A Dominant 7th chord is a chord in which the seventh degree is flattened (lowered by a half-step). In theory, the Dominant 7th chord may have existed in Classical music before it did Black American music, but in practice it’s not the same Dominant 7th chord.

In Classical music, the Dominant 7th chord was typically used to resolve to the tonic (the reference note for all other pitches in a piece). In the Blues, the Dominant 7th chord IS the tonic, not just a passing chord.

We took a chord commonly used as a stepping stone and made it our home. 

It’s the sound of Black American music. I know for a fact that when cats want their music to sound less Black and less like the Blues, they avoid using Dominant 7th chords.

Plymouth Rock Landed On Us!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDXPpfGAZrU&w=420&h=315]

Is it that Europeans invented certain chord structures, or is it that we have all adopted and accepted the European system of chord analysis as the universal system? Where that flatted 7th is placed can change the sound of that note immensely. Have Black American musicians applied the usage of European harmony as much as the rules governing European harmony been applied to Black American music?

Lady Lester For President!

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A hat is a hat, but a hat cocked ace-deuce makes it a different hat. Inflection is everything. How something is said or laid can create a new world. You can’t predict what effect a gift you give someone will have, but you can certainly affect the place from which it is given.

           

       

        Do the fruits you bear augment or diminish? 

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Fuck What Some Old Cat Says Sometimes . . . .

Not all of the masters have the right idea about Black music. Just because so-and-so said they love JAZZ and studied European harmony does not mean that’s what the music is about. Many are victims of a colonial mindset. A lot of Black folks don’t talk about studying Black culture as they’re too busy trying to assimilate and integrate into White culture. Some Blacks don’t discuss Black culture because they ARE Black culture.

                              Acceptance is a bitch.

Black American music has undoubtedly been influenced by Classical music and Classical music has most certainly been influenced by Black American music. To say Classical music — credit to the European culture that created it is implicit in the title — but when you say JAZZ it can come from anywhere.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk3ll9NE0IY&w=420&h=315]

What Time Is It?

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birdtime2When a student transcribes a Charlie Parker solo, it becomes very easy to separate the music from the Black man who created it. Saying JAZZ is just another way of not acknowledging the Black community it came through. I don’t expect that people will stop using the “J” word, even though it has shown time and again to serve to the detriment of the art, the artists and its supporters.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx2rJthMXJw&w=420&h=315]

chiter3

And to be honest, some things are most certainly deserving of the JAZZ title. Jazz is the White caricaturization of Black American music. Harmony, albeit important, has never been the basis of innovation in Black music. All major innovations in Black American music have been in sound and feel.

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#SHABAM!

Charlie Parker’s and Dizzy Gillespie’s chief contributions were based in feel, not notes. They studied and talked about the notes, because harmony lends itself to analysis. You can’t theorize free rhythmic thought. The moment you do, it no longer is free and you wind up with JAZZ.

There are cats in college who know more harmony than Trane and it don’t mean shit. #mfcomn

It was more about where they started and landed than the colors they chose to paint with.

                   bird diz

   We splash around harmony like colors on a canvas.

How the triplets were swung is really what was innovative about so-called Bebop.

Fluctuation is a mothafucka.

– Nicholas Payton : August 1, 2012

All That Jazz Is For The Birds 

bluestar6922Bird was not radically different harmonically from Art Tatum, but where he placed those notes is what set him apart. We also have to take into account that Art Tatum played piano and was able to complement his solo lines with the corresponding chordal structures and bass notes. Bird’s chordal substitutions seemed light years away because the pianist or bassist usually had no idea what notes he might choose which sometimes created a beautifully dissonant harmonic rub.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcZGPLAnHA&w=560&h=315]

“ . . . With Strings”  implies somehow the ‘Jazz’ musician is more legitimized by playing music somewhat associated with a European aesthetic. That’s why I’m calling my piece Black American Symphony.  

– Nicholas Payon : June 10, 2012

Smackwater Jack

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After a while, you’re going to hit a wall harmonically. It’s sound and feel that will get you out of a bind every time. Everything comes from somewhere else.

in the light

Revolutionaries don’t create new things. They take some shit you look at everyday and make you see it a different way.

– Nicholas Payton : June 28, 2012

The most we can do is reorganize preexisting material and give it a new perspective. You cannot properly assess Black American music through the lens of a European outlook. Each must be respected on its own terms. Because Dvorak checked out Black American music doesn’t make his music less European. Because Duke Ellington listened to Debussy does not make his music any less Black.

#BAM

– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM

On The Real New Orleans Second Line . . .

The Second Line Has Become The Mainline

It used to be that the second line stood for those who were in the 2nd part of the caravan behind the family leaving the funeral home or church to send the body off. Now, it’s all about the second line. In fact, they don’t call them funerals anymore, they say, “We havin’ a Second Line!” It has all become a big party. When I first heard of what they were going to do with Uncle Lionel’s body, I was taken aback, but I felt slightly comforted at the notion that there was an announcement for no photography to be allowed. Then, the next thing I see is a photograph on NOLA.com of Unc’s deceased body propped upright like a figure in a wax museum. I don’t know if this was Unc’s wish. If it was, so be it, but the event and the coverage that accompanied his memorial is evidence of how the New Orleans tradition has devolved into a sideshow.

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No Photos, Please!

49973248 9429f7410f2Since when has it been OK to post photos of a deceased musician all over the place? I guess the advent of the Internet has served to desensitize us to the fact that we’re dealing with human beings like avatars on a screen. Life has become The Matrix.

The journalist of Uncle Lionel’s obit focused solely on the fact that his body was standing up. Nothing about the man or musician in the whole piece. At least the journalist is consistent in that he disrespects artists living and dead alike.

It also went on about how fellow morticians wanted to know the “trade secrets” for arranging Lionel Batiste’s body upright and recounts of opportunists outside of the procession selling “Uncle Lionel” memorabilia. Really, people? Is this what it’s come to?

Y’all Doin’ Too Much

1342616294 uncle lionel w shadesUncle Lionel was a “character,” but he was not a character. He was a real person. He wasn’t a brass band cap, or a wrist watch on his hand, or any other personal affect. He was a man. A man with a family. A pillar of the community who deserves our respect. We no longer respect our elders as we should, neither in life or in passing. I remember when we used to send our soldiers off with respect. I sound like an old man, but it wasn’t that long ago. I remember when we had a solemn service for our elders, now it’s just a spectacle filled with paparazzi and onlookers eating barbecue who could care less. SMS = Sad, miserable situation . . .

New Orleans Is Becoming A Caricature Of Its Former Self

We have always celebrated the passing of our loved ones. It’s a beautiful tradition. I know traditions evolve, but certain foundational aspects should remain a constant. Water adapts and has many forms, but it’s still water at its essence. New Orleans is a city of dichotomies. Here in the Crescent, we rock birth and death in the cradle of our arms. We recognize that every death is a birth; the beginning of a new journey. We mourn the passing of our loved ones, cut the body loose, and send our children home on a happy note. But where’s the balance? This ‘laissez-faire,’ ‘le bon ton roule’ disposition has begun to serve as a detriment to the things we should hold dear.

rivers07 new orleans

I remember when my dad passed, a very dear friend posted a video of my father’s unauthorized “memorial” on their Facebook page. When I saw that, I was crushed. Not so much at the fact of the memorial, but at the participants who largely forgot that a family has just lost someone.

Late night at the Walgreen’s on St. Charles, I bumped into one of the city’s Grand Marshalls right after my dad passed and was amazed at how they could make my father’s death all about how they were going to upstage the other Grand Marshalls at the memorial. How dare they make my father’s death about them buckjumping at a second line. This person was totally numb to the fact that I had just lost my father and my dearest friend. I can tell you countless stories of other family members who have suffered similar disregard, but will spare you for the moment.

There is a respectful way to celebrate the deceased. We’ve all but forgotten that.

Port-O-Let Bon Ton Roule

port20o20let20bluee203320smallIt used to be that we would talk about the tourists who would come to our city with the express purpose of indulging in as much debauchery as possible. We’ve now become those tourists in our own city. Every day is Mardi Gras. Any excuse to show your tits. Don’t get me wrong, I love tits, but they mean nothing without the people they’re connected to.

We’ve become That Place. We are now an episode in our own show. Celebrities love to come to live in New Orleans because it’s one of the few places they can live in anonymity. No one cares about a Hollywood star here because the cat who hangs outside the corner grocery store is an icon. That used to be a beautiful thing until it distorted itself. Now you got cats who hang outside the store on the corner with hopes of fame, or the cat who will never leave that corner because of his established stardom.

No one in New Orleans goes to see a show anymore, they go to BE the show. #mfcomn

So What’s The Answer?

9005038737448403457 11One of the biggest things that has plagued New Orleans is its history. There has always been a large contingency of folks here who believe that if New Orleans becomes a forward-thinking city, it will lose its character. News flash folks: it already has. It has been on a slow, steady demise over the years, and the flood that Katrina brought damn near finished the job. I though at least with the flood we would have a clean slate. A chance to fearlessly start over since, in many ways, all was lost so we had nothing to lose. I feel we missed that opportunity, but we still have a chance. This is a city that embraces birth and death, so why can’t we embrace tradition and move forward, as well?

These are not mutually exclusive ideals.

They can coexist in the same place without either losing its integrity.

“And A Little One Shall Lead Them . . .”

secondline 0003I am not old. I am still very much a young man, but I find myself having to speak to things that most folks don’t seem to want to say. I get tired of always having to be the one to speak out. It is not what I set out to do in this life. In fact, I’m a very shy person, but I cannot be silent and allow what I see happening in our culture go unchecked. I would love to shut-up and just play the trumpet, but somebody needs to say something, and oftentimes, I find it being me. As Rufus Wainwright says in his piece Jericho, “”Guess I’ll have to put my trumpet back in the case and get behind this here canon covered in lace.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrFVYjZX71s&w=560&h=315]

It’s All About Love

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9GOkGu8qCs&w=420&h=315]

Respect is love and love is respect. It’s just that simple. That is The Answer.

#BAM

– Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

On Dilla, Hiphop and The Charleston . . .

Man, it’s been so long that Yeezy has been Pop, I forgot he used to be a Backpacker.

I guess it’s a done deal with Jigga at this point.

Niggas in Paris.

What about these folks who resting on their Laryns, I mean, Laurels.

Really, D’? C’mon, Niggas!

Y’all shit ain’t That precious. Do another album already.

Stevie, and Marvin and ’em were prolific.

They didn’t care if they made a “bad” album.

That’s one thing I really respect about Nas. He’s records through all his shit.

What happened to Hiphop? Where’s The Vibe? Where’s The Swing.

Where’s That Bounce? Syncopation.

Dilla. This is what all the cats sleep on with Dilla.

They got the flam, but missed the feel.

That shuffle feel. That triplet feel. That shit on the upbeats.

That hot shit. The Hop in Hiphop. The Charleston.

1022 The Charleston Hop. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN3xSa97G1c&w=420&h=315] That beat on Da Booty ain’t nothin’ but a Charleston. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPYK2xfHNwo&w=420&h=315]syncopated spirit of Ragtime lives through classic Hiphop. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s58iTzznkp0&w=420&h=315]

These Niggas today need to get with this. They ain’t got no feel.

This shit don’t mean Jack without the feel.

That’s that ish that get a Nigga who think he too cool to dance to carry his ass out on the floor.

#BAM

– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM

aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

Black American Symphony

It started in the Crescent

Close to where the Blues was born

A call to liberation

Fabled from Buddy Bolden’s horn

They gathered every Sunday

In a place called Congo Square

The drumming told their stories

And a brand new sound appeared

A people who were stripped of knowledge of their yesterdays

Were reconnected to their souls through tribal DNA

The chants renewed old memories of how they came to be

They created a melody for all the world to see

In a Black A-Merican Symphony

A Black A-Merican Symphony

It’s a joyous story

How the enslaved reconciled their past

Propers should be given

To the ancestors at last

It’s not the least divisive

To say who gave us this fine art

For it’s the lack of knowledge

That serves to drive most folks apart

A popular expression was unearthed from underground

New Orleans born and raised way down where Dippermouth was crowned

That syncopated style that changed the way we feel that beat

It makes you move and groove and feel like dancing in the street

To a Black A-Merican Symphony

A Black A-Merican Symphony

(SOLO)

So many on the scene Overlook soul for razzmatazz

The audience is dwindling

‘Cause folks don’t wanna hear that Jazz

It’s time for revolution

‘Cause mediocrity’s got to go

We’ve got to change the system

‘Fore the necrophiles steal the show

We have an opportunity to set the record straight

The movement has begun c’mon y’all let’s confabulate

The door is down and all you have to do is just walk through

Yellow and Brown and Red and White can all join in this blues

It’s a Black A-Merican Symphony

A Black A-Merican Symphony

It’s a Black A-Merican Symphony

A Black A-Merican Symphony

Symphony, symphony, symphony for you and me williamgrantstillmiss orch – Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM

They X’d Malcolm -by Nicholas Payton

they x’d malcolm

did they let medgar ever?

made martin luther king

knowing that someday

all kings must fall

poor c.o.r.e. read her

and nat turn her

jesse is for just he

huey knew a ton

fredrick dug glass

why’d they have to hide

in harriet tub, man?

so, join her truth

he lied ya muhammad

do mark us garvey

‘cus when oprah win free

at last

my love has come

a long way baby

because solo man was wise

many wives

mo says the bush is burnin’

go down!

exit us to the

garden of eatin’

the apple

serpent sweet

like cane and able

‘twas eve fore atom

by bull

king james version

virgin mary

don’t you weep

jesus wept

he stir up trouble

and your rules sail him

christ is born!

– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of #BAM aka The Savior of Archaic Pop