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30

FRIDAY

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It wouldn’t be surprising if at some point the upper lip of 91-year-old trumpeter Doc Cheatham just fell off into his mouthpiece. It also wouldn’t be surprising if he found a way to keep on playing. On Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton, the old guy keeps up with his 23-year-old counterpart as the two trade fours, eights, and fun in the New Orleans-style of Armstrong, Oliver, and, well, the good Doc himself. Payton’s hand is firmly on the torch, but he doesn’t get a chance to burn the Jurassic classic who hands it to him, since Cheatham’s blowing is still as hot as a Big Easy summer. The whole album is a joy, but when Doc croons “How Deep Is the Ocean?” and “Jeepers Creepers” in his delightfully creaky little voice? Forget about it. You will smile when Cheatham performs with the Nicholas Payton Quintet tonight and Saturday at 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $18. (202) 337-4141. (Christopher Porter)