Cecil Payne: Scotch and Milk (1996)

Scotch and Milk

Track list:

01. Scotch and Milk
02. Wilhelmenia
03. I’m Goin’ In
04. If I Should Lose You
05. Que Pasaning
06. Cit Sac
07. Lady Nia
08. Et Vous Too, Cecil?


Cecil Payne – baritone sax, flute
Marcus Belgrave – trumpet
Eric Alexander – tenor sax
Lin Halliday – tenor sax
Harold Mabern – piano
John Ore – bass
Joe Farnsworth – drums

Recorded: Riverside Studio, Chicago, IL; September 2-3, 1996
Released: 1997
Label: Delmark
DE 494

Producer: Robert G. Koester
Recording Engineer: Paul Serrano

Liner Notes: Leonard J. Bukowski

Photography: Scott Pollard
Design: Al Brandtner

When Cecil Payne turned 70 in 1992, the baritone saxophonist was showing no signs of slowing down.

Payne was 73 when he recorded Scotch and Milk, a fine hard bop date employing trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, tenor saxmen Lin Halliday and Eric Alexander, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist John Ore, and drummer Joe Farnsworth.

Payne’s chops are in top shape on this 1996 date, and the veteran saxman plays with a lot of passion on such exuberant originals as “Wilhemenia” (a Sonny Rollins-type jazz/calypso number), “Que Pasaning,” and “Cit Sac” (which finds Payne switching to the flute).

The only tune on the CD that Payne didn’t write is the standard “If I Should Lose You,” which serves as a nice example of his soulful ballad playing.

Nothing groundbreaking takes places on Scotch and Milk; most of the material could have been recorded for Blue Note in the 1950s or 1960s instead of 1996.

Scotch and Milk is a perfect example of a veteran improviser excelling by sticking with what he does best.
~Alex Henderson[]