Is “Jazz” cool anymore? Well, ask Nicholas Payton!

6 years ago  •  By  •  20 Comments

Nicholas Payton has recently stirred up a hornets nest of activity on Facebook and Twitter by asserting that “Jazz is dead” and stating that we ought to abandon the term “jazz” altogether. He did so in an interesting, almost poem-like post on his blog that you ought to read for yourself. You can find it by clicking here.  If you read the post without preconceived notions, it actually is a very acute and interestingly argued argument for Nicholas position.

He is clearly not saying that the music that we currently categorize as jazz is “dead”, although I think he IS saying that a lot of the music currently performed under the heading of jazz has gotten so far away from it’s roots as being barely recognizable – to the detriment of the music itself and to the art form known as “jazz”. Nicholas argues that the music originally is of African-American origin, that it is Black American Music which explains his use of the hashtag #BAM on Twitter, which other artists, such as pianist Orrin Evans, are now also starting to use in place of #jazz. If you search #BAM on Twitter you will see a wealth of posts on this acronym.

Soon as you start dividing things up in “black” and “white”, not least in America, conversations start breaking down pretty quickly. And some people take offense and issue with the idea that this music belongs to anybody in particular – not least a race. Conversations start turning personal. Pianist George Colligan‘s blog about this issue is a good example of that. While George himself stays above the fray, and is even keeled in discussing the issue at hand (plus retains a focus on the music itself), there’s a (white) critic called Brent Black (!!) who is not only in disagreement with Nicholas Payton’s statements on race, but also totally dismissive of the qualities of Nicholas recently released album entitled “Bitches“, and uses his criticism of the album to also tear down Nicholas argument..and the other way around. Needless to say it all quickly erupts into a flame war.

When I read Nicholas statements they don’t appear to be coming from a perspective of reverse-racism to me, but reads more as a history lesson and as a statement of general concern for the music + a call to rediscover the roots. But as Nicholas album “Bitches” clearly demonstrates, both in the title and in the music recorded – it is a vastly different agenda than the one propagated by Wynton Marsalis & Stanley Crouch back in the 80ties and 90ties – the days of the “young jazz lions”. Nicholas #BAM is much more inclusive of music that we don’t think of as jazz, including hip-hop, R&B and other “genres” as well, and “Bitches” as an album is reflective of that openness.

“Bitches”, as a title, is clearly also a nod to “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis, although musically speaking it is a very different album. Nicholas is mainly featured as a vocalist on “Bitches”, not as a trumpeter, and I think he does a great job of it, sounding a little bit like Luther Vandross at times. Judge for yourself. As an album it sounds like nothing that Miles ever did, but the title reflects, I think, a commonality of spirit. Namely that jazz can be many things, including being inspired by pop culture and music of it’s day, and that this music doesn’t only live to push the boundaries further than “Live At The Plugged Knickel” and “A Love Supreme”. As Dizzy said in 1948: “As soon as jazz loses it’s dance beat, it will lose it’s audience”. He also said that “the audience don’t really care if we play a flatted fifth or a ruptured 128th as long as they can dance to the music”. I think that largely holds true today, and, sadly, very few jazz albums pay any attention to this part anymore. Nicholas took a solid stab at that on Bitches!

At the end of the day I think it’s much more interesting to hear a demonstration of musical intent, rather than to discuss the nomenclature behind it, but I arguably don’t have as much of a stake in this as Nicholas and other (especially black) artists do, and I can’t really find fault with most of the reasonings or with the musical results of his leanings.

What I do find offensive is when a critic like Brent Black is so disrespectful of the music that Nicholas Payton has created, and tries to use Nicholas words on #BAM vs. Jazz as a tool to tear him and his artistry down with statements like “he can’t sing” to “Wynton Marsalis is a better trumpet player” to “he’s not even in the top 5 of trumpet players”.

I first met Nicholas Payton in 1991, when he came through the now defunct Montmartre Club in Copenhagen (then a much larger 440 capacity venue than the current 80 capacity venue). He was part of Elvin Jones band. Nicholas was very young, barely in his twenties, but he not only looked like a classic trumpeter – he played like one! Big, huge, warm tone, great lines, rootsy when he wanted it to be, advanced bebop when he felt that. Cue to about 10 years later I caught Nicholas again at the Blue Note here in NYC. He was then a member of Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth project, and shared the stage not only with the master himself, but also with Kenny Garrett, David Kikoski and Christian McBride. Not exactly a group of slouches! Yet Nicholas impressed me just as much again and had just added maturity and space to the qualities I had already heard when he was with Elvin.

To have been on bandstands like these, and to have conducted himself the way he did, musically and personally, is to embody the very core of the spirit of this music, at it’s most exalted, and there’s no question that someone like that have lessons to teach anybody who has NOT been there. Especially if you love and respect this music and it’s origins. Brent Black – and any critic – ought to be aware that at the end of the day nobody can defend, protect and carry this music into the future better than a musician..especially a masterful musician like Nicholas Payton.

That said several critics have been more than fair in their analysis of Nicholas Payton’s statements. Read noted critic Ted Panken’s blog post about the same here. Or Nate Chinen, from New York Times, here which also includes comments by Angelika Beener (a black female jazz writer – her own blog Alternate Takes here) and by Aaron Cohen.

Our own position is that jazz most certainly IS a primarily black art form, and that, as Nicholas often points out, there’s been many white and even non-American musicians that have been making valuable contributions as well. I don’t think the term jazz is going to go away, and even if it did I don’t think the music we think of today as jazz would become vastly more popular than it is if we instead called it BAM.

As for the health of the music itself I think it’s doing great! While many are pessimistic due to the fact that there are very few headlining ticket sellers today in jazz, there are many, many pointers in the opposite direction: The fact that Herbie Hancock could win album of the year at the Grammies a few year ago, the fact that Esperanza Spaulding beat Justin Bieber as Artist of the Year, and even more so the fact that today there are so many great artists – whether African-American, Asian, Caucasian, African, Cuban, Latin – that reinvent the music the way it always happened: With a solid eye cast both to the past and to the future.

Let me finish off by quoting Antonin Dvorak – I took this quote from Alex Ross excellent treatise on modern (20th century) classical music called “The Rest is Noise” – the great Czech (Classical) composer, in a statement he made in the New York Herald on May 21, 1893: “I am now satisfied that the future music of this country (USA) must be founded on what are called the Negro melodies. This must be the real foundation of any serious and original school of composition to be developed in the United States. All of the great musicians have borrowed from the songs of the common people. Beethoven’s most charming scherzo is based upon what might now be considered a skillfully handled negro melody. In the negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music. They are pathetic, tender, passionate, melancholy, solemn, religious, bold, merry, gay or what you will. It is music that suits itself to any mood or any purpose.[ There is nothing in the whole range of composition that cannot be supplied with themes from this source”.

These words now appear prophetic, as jazz MUST be described as THE classical music of the 20th century – also called “The American Century” because of American hegemony economically, militarily, culturally etc. Now it is our challenge to help keep the music alive well into the 21st century…whatever we call it!


Anders Chan-Tidemann/January 2, 2012


Comments 20

  1. Anders
    Thanks for your posting Brent. I find your style of trying to tear artists apart pretty disquieting, and your musical Olympics analysis of "top 10 trumpeters" to "the next Wynton Marsalis" to be superficial. It's just critics jargon and it's got nothing to do with the actual music, or with Nicholas Payton's artistic merit or choices. If anything "Bitches" proves that Nicholas agenda is totally different from being "the next Wynton Marsalis". I am sure Nicholas Payton sees himself in the lineage of New Orleans musicians, just like Wynton, but his aesthetics are different from Wynton's, more inclusive of styles outside of what we consider jazz, and that's what "Bitches" & #BAM is all about.
    • Commenting on the blatently obvious is not an attempt at tearing down an artist. When you title a piece of work "Bitches" then take to cyber space in a non stop profanity laced tired in an effort to promote a record no one is buying I think your comprehension of what is actually happening needs work. i.e. dont make it my problem. Payton was in fact labeled as the next Marsalis when he broke big - not by me but by the industry collectively whether that is right or wrong is up for debate but the fact is he cant give "Bitches" away. I'll never apologize for having standards any more then you will for playing censor and removing my original comments. When smooth jazz trumpet star Cindy Bradley is selling and you are not then game over. When 75 year old Miles David disciple Enrico Rava is blowing a self indulgent cry baby like Payton off the band stand then again - dont make your lack of comprehension my problem. You assume. Dont read or pander out of fear. Read what was written. If you dont like it fine. But if you want to intentionally misrepresent it then you leave yourself as open as Payton does. Good luck.
  2. Hi Anders, I think that amongst the many things this whole Payton affair has raised is the question: what is the purpose of a music crtitic, what makes a good one or a bad one? I'll not comment about the pros and cons of specific writers, but what I *will* say is this. You may have read Dave Liebman's recent article "Do Jazz Critics Need to Know How to Plsy Jazz ( In it, he says: "I believe in review, not criticism, meaning information, comment, elucidation, historical precedent, stylistic considerations, etc. but please no value judgments. We (the performer) know better than anyone what is going on. No one but us knows the real deal, so let's keep things nice and clean concerning the role of a critic." Could't have said it better myself. As far as I am concerned, my role is to provide context, to inform a reader so he/she can make the decision whether or not the music at hand would interest them. I simply don't believe that whether I like it or not has any real relevance or interest. Nor should a review tell the reader what he/she will exoerience, any more than it should talk about the artist's motivation (unless I've actualy spoken with the artist about it). Of course, as much as I try to write objectively, there's no denying it is colored by my subjective viewpoint, but it is both unnecessary and irrelevant to reference myself directly. The bottom line: a review has to be about the music and the artist who makes it, not the writer. Do that, and you will build an audience. There is simply no need to write about yourself. And a professional writer, imo, has no business going after an artist on a personal level - again, it's simply irrelevant to a discussion about the music. It's absolutely possible to dislike an artist while loving his music. And a personal dislike of an artist should not have any bearing on reportting his/her music. Again, I am not passing comments on other writers. These are, after all, just my opinions and hold no more or less weight than other writer who may well disagree with me, as is their right. But it's this fundamental that drives All About Jazz's editorial policy (a policy that was well in place before I joined the site and which was, in fact, one of the reasons *why* I joined the site). It's also why, more than a critical site, with critical content being only one aspect of what we do, that we consider ourselves a musician advocacy site. Speaking or myself, with the increasing volume of material coming my way each month, I have to triage somehow, and certainly one key criteria is whether or not it move me. Why, after all, would I spent the kind of time required to do a proper review on something that *doesn't*? Yes, it could be perceived, by some, that by only writing positive reviews, I am unable to properly assess/critique it . But that couldn't be farther from the triuth; I simply do my major critiquing up front, before i actually put virtual pen to paper. And that doesn't preclude identifying a perceived weakness (perceived, being the operative word). But even then,such things must be reported in a balanced, objective fashion that remains about the music, and not perosonal; problems with the artist making it. I hope this clarifies my position, and the overall editorial policy of All About Jazz. We're by no means perfect; but we are humble enough to acknowledge that there is always something to learn, always ways to improve and always space for the constructive suggestions of others. We think we're doing a great job, but we are never complacent about what we do. We can always do better, and if someone has a legitimate criticism or suggestion, and it both makes sense and is doable on a practical level, then we're all ears. Best! John
  3. Anders
    Hey John, Thanks very much for posting your thoughts. I, too, agree with Liebman entirely. Too often we've seen how critics tear downs of valuable contributions were just a reflection of bias. Some albums are very difficult to review. I wonder how it must have felt to be a critic reviewing Miles "On The Corner" when it first came out. Probably people were divided into the "love it" or "hate it" camp with very little middle ground. Hindsight is now 20/20, but I, personally, find myself falling in and out of love with music, and then falling in love with it all over again. Or not liking stuff like forever and then all of a sudden....digging it deeply. That''s part of the magic and mystery of music, and part of the reason that tearing those that create it apart is a losing strategy for all of us who loves music!
    • One of the reasons I shy ffrom negative reviews has absolutely to do directly with On the Corner. I remember when it came out (yeah, I'm that old!) the incredibly negative reviews. one thing I found interesting was that, when the Complete On the Corner Box was released a few years back, one writer who had panned it terribly back in the day, gaev the box five stars., raving about it as if it were the second coming. Now every writer has the right to change his/her mind, of course, but it would certainly have been a sign of both humility and fairness to indicate, in the review (again, I'll not name names) that he had slamed it back in the day, but with the nebefit of time, now sees it for what it is: a masterpiece. Of my own experience, I absolutely did not get Ornette Coleman for decades until when the Beauty is a Rare Thing box came out, a reviewer wrote something that was like a lightbulb moment for me. Suddenly, things that didn't make sense before now did. That's the power of writing that does what Liebman describes. Now, I've a huge collection of Ornette and sewe him for what he is/was. So, my opinion changed over the years, as did the reviewer of On the Corner> Since the music hasn't changed, what does that say about us? It says that we evolve as listeners and writers, and that it's at least a very real possibilty that if a piece of music doesn't move me, it might be me and not hte music. So if I write a slamming review, and a year later have a eureka moment, well, the damage is already done, unless I write a new piece to correct. I've actually apologized to a couple musicians who, in my early writing days, I was less than kind to (not slamming, I just don't buy into that, but critiical of aspects that really turned out to be me not getting it, and not the music), and so am particularly sensitive and careful of the idea of being negative. While I'd never want to overstate any writer's ability to impact things, it is true that we certainly *can* hurt an artist, and not just for the short-term. That means we are absolutely obligated to ensure we are balanced and fair, and that we don't write something we might later regret, by whcih time the damage has already been done. I'm with you, Anders. I LIVE for those eureka moments! But because I write for a site with a certain amount of reach, i need to be extra careful about how I review anything. Life, and at least an attempt at being humble enough to realize I cannot be the arbiter of what is good or bad (unless there's a clear and empirical techincal flaw, and even what is empirical can, at times, be more subjective than we think!) tells me that I have a responsiblity to the artists and our readers. It sounds a little high-falutin' perhaps, but is sincere. Again, my job as a writer is to do the best I can to articulate what the music is about and contextualize it, so at the end of the piece, the reader can make up his/her mind, and my personal opinion simply has little substantive value. And, btw, I love On the Corner...but it sure ain't an easy record, is it?
  4. Anders
    That's so interesting you had that exact experience with "On The Corner"! U know, I didn't even know there was such a thing as the jazz tradition when I saw Miles first time in 1987, and when I subsequently had to get everything he ever made "On The Corner" wasn't my favorite then..I preferred the period prior to the electric as well as albums like "Bitches Brew", "Live-Evil", "Jack Johnson" - maybe because there was more Miles actually soloing on those. I didn't NOT like it, but I think it's taken me to now to LOVE it. So I get it if people take their time with ANY music. I just had this experience where I used to not be able to listen to Bob Dylan, and now I've fallen in love with his album "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"....I know, it's heresy, but that's how I felt....
  5. Na, not heresy....until I met my wife, i didnt get dylan, period, as a performer. As a writer, sure, but it took her to help me get it. I still find Miles' second quintet with Herbie, Wayne etc my favorite period, but i love the electric '70s stuff..more now, though. SOme of it was just too dense for me, adn i didn't really grasp what was going on. SOmething was grabbing me on a vsceral level though, so i knew it;d come in time. But still, from the beginning of the second quintet wiuth Seven Steps to Heaven, through to In a Siletnt Way (ok, a litle past the end of the second group) is the stuff i turn to most when I'm not tthinking about it. Nice chatting with you, btw. i don;t think we;ve ever talked about anything like this to any kind of similar degree. So if nothing else, there's been an unexpcected side benefit to weighing in on your site. Have a great weekend!
  6. Anders
    U too John and thanks for the chat!
  7. A negative review is merely a shared perspective of ONE aspect of an artist's work. It is not a blanket condemnation nor should it be seen as the last word. Certain releases can and do lend themselves to more intense scrutiny. Having contributed some work to All About Jazz, I certainly admire Mr. Kelman's experience and technical expertise. I believe we differ in perspective and that is a good thing. My particular was about the music and the artist ( a review Kelman promised A.A.J. would do in a private conversation with me but i have yet to see it ). A common comment I heard at the recent JEN conference in Louisville was "where are the negative reviews?" and a common complaint from the artists I spoke with is that there are too many publications that can have ten reviews and outside of the name of the artist all the reviews read the same. There is a fine line for the critic to walk between informative and entertaining analysis and self indulgence and the same in this case goes for Nicholas Payton and his release "Bitches". He crossed a line and I called him on it...It happens and I stand by it. I have had far more positive feedback and support from major labels for doing this then you can possibly imagine. A musical line in the sand has to be drawn somewhere. #bam is nothing more then a publicity stunt to gain sales. as payton is quoted in the all about jazz forum thread - "this is publicity you can not buy." - that is something that always needs to be challenged. At the Jen Conference Bob Mintzer said "not everything sucks" - true. Rondi Charleston said if you have integrity and can back up your critism then go for it...Again, its a shared perspective - not an absolute. 98% of my work is incredibly positive. The 2% that is not is simply more honest then other publications care to be because they do not want to risk the wrath of the label or the artist. There is little integrity in jazz journalism today, I have seen it first hand. Just my two cents. Good luck
    • Anders
      Brent....I don't think u should expect to get a lot of street cred as a reviewer just because "the major labels" gave you "positive feedback and support" lol.
  8. i have plenty of street cred but that is the very last thing i think about. once again you seem to feel every artist is deserving of a glowing review whether they release a sonic flat line or not...there are numerous discs that i think are bad - i do not review them. it is that easy. payton released a controversial release with quotes that i can site that are in print where it is an obvious publicity attempt. i clearly state it is all about a shared perspective. if the review makes them think - be it good or bad then that is fine. i dont write with the preconceived notion that my word = sales for an artist anymore then my review = a career setback if i dont like something. i have interview artists that do not normally give an independent writer the time of day. they understand my passion and sincerity. i have had one other incident with one other artist and this artist finally explained that he understands it comes with the territory and our relationship is fine. and not all major labels have given me support so again - work on the comprehension. read what is written - not what your bias tells you...i have regular readers on every continent, am featured in a gannett publication and have been requested by some artists to work on liner notes and bios so i believe your critical assesment of my career falls short. swing and a miss. lol! if you wish to pander to people like payton out of fear then that is your choice. i find the album title offensive, i find the music weak and uninspired. sorry if that is a little too direct for you but it is what it is...#jazz so with that - you work your side of the street and i will work mine. i no longer contribute to all about jazz because i find the cold, sterile overly analytical approach to a passionate form of music like jazz dull and boring. if you want an audience of professional musicians the sterile and highly technical review is fine but even they like to see you feel the passion, that you can find the place where the artist may be coming from. you judge me on one review. true musical diversity! lol! as my pal john would say - best!
  9. and i wanted to clarify one point kelman made by inferring there was some sort of malicious intent to hurt payton with my review. a.) there was no malicious intent - he is a good musician with a bad record. b.) i believe if you look at payton's cyber track record of offensive, racist and hate filled venom then you need to think twice before you make the statement of possible long term damage a critic can do an artist. what has happened with payton is of his own doing. he does not shoot himself in the foot, he keeps pulling the trigger till the clip is empty. and for the record - almost 3 months after release i dont see the record charting. does that mean it stinks? no, of course not. but for the self-proclaimed musical genius and man that blows more horn than anyone to be out sold by a smooth jazz artist then game over....his credibility is gone. and your bias is again showing.
  10. and i wanted to clarify one point kelman made by inferring there was some sort of malicious intent to hurt payton with my review. a.) there was no malicious intent - he is a good musician with a bad record. b.) i believe if you look at payton's cyber track record of offensive, racist and hate filled venom then you need to think twice before you make the statement of possible long term damage a critic can do an artist. what has happened with payton is of his own doing. he does not shoot himself in the foot, he keeps pulling the trigger till the clip is empty. and for the record - almost 3 months after release i dont see the record charting. does that mean it stinks? no, of course not. but for the self-proclaimed musical genius and man that blows more horn than anyone to be out sold by a smooth jazz artist then game over....his credibility is gone. and your bias is again showing. my split with kelman was not amiable so his self indulgent need to weigh in is somewhat sad.
    • Anders
      I guess since Miles Davis was outsold by Kenny G in the 80ties, it was game over for him as well? It seems as if you are not aware that Smooth Jazz has outsold "real" "jazz" pretty much since forever. I again fail to see how being outsold by other people means "game over". I am sure Coltrane's "Ascension" was outsold by Ramsey Lewis, whose music was more commercial, did that mean game over for Coltrane too? What a weird measure of artistic merit. To address your comments on my views. I do not feel every artist deserves a glowing review, no. Nor do I feel that a review can't be critical of any or all aspects of the work presented. But I've found no balance in your comments at all. It seems like you have an axe to grind on Nicholas Payton. That's my opinion. And my other opinion is that there's artistic merit to "Bitches" on many levels. If NP had asked me whether it would sell a lot of records, I would have told him that it's tough to make that kind of transition mid-career, that for him to present this music in this form he'd likely have to play venues he has little to no history with etc. It ain't going to happen at the Vanguard that's for sure. So there's challenges in doing something like this, and I am sure that NP is aware of that without someone like me telling him, and decided that he wanted to tackle that anyway. Give him some respect for that at least. I am sure he did this because his musical heart told him to.
  11. Brent, To be clear, as I said more than once in my first post here: my comments were not levied at any one writer, so I am not quite sure why you have come aboard to suggest otherwise. I contributed to this thread in order to provide an alternate viewpoint - to give one possible reason why some lean towards writing largely positive reviews. That said, there's one thing to write positive reviews, another to be a sycophant, and I believe it's absolutely possible to be the former without resorting to the latter. As for "that review"? I've been busy with other paid work since before the holidays (and want to point out to those who aren't aware: AAJ may well be a volunteer-driven site that continues to aspire to and work towards being a paid one, but paid work regularly comes directly from the work writers do for AAJ) and, at this point, with the build-up of material to review, I may or may not get to it, for the same reasons ascribed in earlier posts. Looking at your reviews of late, I see little but work that is of extremely high praise and little, if no, criticism. Add that to your recent comments about viewing the job as advocacy (a viewpoint I share, and have espoused for years), and it makes me wonder why you're so quick to proclaim yourself as the "pulls no punches" writer you say you are? And that's not a criticism, Brent; if anything, it simply says we share more than we differ...though I still believe in our editorial policies - policies about which you seem to have decided you are going to comment in at least one review/week. It's your site, your choice; but to be honest, promoting oneself by putting down others doesn't always reflect well. I've never expressed anything but respect for your writing - and your potential. It would seem to be a professional courtesy if you could, if not give the same in return, stop referring both indirectly and directly to us. That said, I reiterate: my comments here at Anders' site had nothing do to with any specific writer, and were nothing more than providing an alternate viewpoint. I would appreciate you providing the same in return, and not reference me directly, as I'd no intention (and have no interest) in engaging directly with you on this subject. Best wishes, John
  12. yet you felt the overwhelming need to make critical comment of my work. your opinion is much like Payton's release which you refuse to review - virtually meaningless. i never promoted myself by putting down others. we agree taste is subjective but if you find payton's voice worthy of critical praise then allow me to follow with tone deaf lasts forever. i would think the editor of a.a.j would have bigger fish to fry then me. swing and a miss.
  13. anders - you compare apples to oranges and use the basic debate tactic of deflection to side step the fact that on the trumpet food chain nicholas payton is a bottom feeder. his heart could tell him to go get a length of rope and rickety stool - wouldnt be the wise thing to do but it would be a public service. i respect your opinion. i dont agree. my axe to grind is my own personal opinion of his music and his overall vile and disgusting fashion with which he communicates. perhaps you simply wish to get your p.c. pander on. thats not how i roll. payton posted a vicious hit piece on me inferring i may be gay. i guess his heart told him to do that so thats o.k. too huh? respect is earned...go to you tube and listen to the god awful vocals on in the zone...if you think they work then you are indeed tone deaf. all the best....
  14. Anders
    So here are the ground rules: Since this is our blog we can thrash whoever we want. And, since that's the case, they can thrash us right back right here on our blog (or, presumably, wherever else they want). But nobody can start thrashing each other in real personal ways on this blog. That's why it's good to be the King. At least the King of our own blog. In other news: Brent, I singled you out because I felt your critique of Nicholas Payton, of #BAM and of "Bitches" was below the belt. Nicholas belt that is. Feel free to return the favor. However, I think it would be helpful to everybody if we largely try to keep this about the music. It's just more interesting at the end of the day. Thanks in advance for at least trying.
  15. Kudos to having the integrity to step in and stop the madness. Do you consider Payton's cyber garbage dump known as his twitter account below the belt? Do you consider "Bitches" with the photo of a lovely woman below the belt? Do you consider Payton's homophobic attack on me below the belt? I won't post the link here but I recently posted a piece that is fully documented with appropriate links and Payton's own words showing his false and misleading statement and his racially incindiary flame speech - THAT is below the belt. #BAM is a publicity stunt - Payton even admits it. Yet......the record can not chart. No sales and luke warm reviews at best....A trend? A fair indication, I proudly stand behind my review and have received numerous emails from female artists and some male thanking me for having the honesty to call it what it is. But I appreciate your integrity in stopping the madness here. If anyone is going to get THAT upset over a review then you are in the wrong business. Grow a thicker skin. Better yet, take Payton's advice - if you dont like it then dont read it or listen to it. Those that scream for diversity often practise it the least. Good day and sincere best wishes.
  16. last thing; i always forget stuff. you admitted knowing or having met Payton. it would be human nature to have some personal bias on this topic. i have bias on alot of things and do not hesitate in stating such in a review when applicable. just sayin...

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