Thursday, October 28, 2010

Walter Payton 1942-2010

20050428-2005_JazzFest_jpegs_-129, originally uploaded by NoVARon.
Word came that Walter Payton, veteran bass player on the New Orleans sceen who played on classic rhythm and blues recordings by Aaron Neville and Lee Dorsey as well as with Preservation Hall, passed away on October 28, 2010 after a lengthy illness.

Let me quote Keith Spera's obituary from the Times-Picayune

"Mr. Payton, the father of Grammy-winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton, was an exceptionally versatile musician in possession of an exceptionally engaging persona. A student of music theory and music history, he could easily switch from electric bass to upright acoustic bass, from rhythm & blues to traditional jazz to modern jazz. His recording credits include Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is" and Lee Dorsey's "Working in a Coal Mine." He was also an accomplished classical musician who, for many years, kept a grand piano in his parlor."

I refer you to Mr. Spera's full obituary:

I had the pleasure to see him perform several times at JazzFest. I took the above picture at the 2005 JazzFest, and I saw him this past April as well. His Snap Bean and Gumbo File combos brought great joy to listeners. Albums of him as a leader are available on a variety of labels. I particularly like the one on the 504 label from an in-store show at the Louisiana Music Factory that has Evan Christopher on clarinet. Many of the New Orleans musicians whether playing traditional style jazz or modern jazz, like his son, have been touched by this gentleman. I am sure they will have quite a second-line to celebrate his life.

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