The Critic’s Pick from the current issue of Philadelphia Weekly. Those brackets in the last sentence were not my idea….
Sat., Feb. 11, 8pm ($30), 10pm ($25). Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131 www.chrisjazzcafe.com
Nicholas Payton, a trumpet ace since his teens, has embraced a new role as a Twitter agitator, the self-proclaimed “Creator of #BAM aka The Savior of Archaic Pop.” Ok … what? Well, BAM stands for Black American Music, the term Payton insists should replace jazz, or “the j-word,” which he holds to be “racist at its inception.” Cue the online flame wars, which have yet to subside. It’s too simple, however, to tag this native New Orleanian as a racial exclusivist; his own career as a leader and sideman doesn’t bear it out. His polemics are over the top, no doubt, but they’ve touched a nerve with people eager to think beyond confining categories. Case in point: Payton’s new R&B epic Bitches, on which he plays every instrument and sings. This week at Chris’s [Black American Music] Cafe he’ll double on trumpet and Rhodes, sometimes simultaneously, with a trio he calls XXX. — David R. Adler