blues people reviewed
"In that passage from Blues People about the linked trajectories of jazz and blues, Baraka, writing then under his given name, LeRoi Jones, goes on to suggest that "jazz is easily the most cosmopolitan of any Negro music, able to utilize almost any foreign influence within its broader spectrum." Richardson may not have set out to illustrate that point with this album, but the music carries the argument nonetheless." -NATE CHINEN
blues PEOPLE reviewed in
Featured in the June 2018 edition of Downbeat Magazine. It features a wonderful interview, and inside look of the album, and project by John Murph. Click on the Downbeat logo to head over to downbeat.com to check out the full edition!!
NPR MUSIC "TINY DESK CONCERTS"
Logan Richardson's latest project, Blues People, is a condition, a state of being. The album was derived from the early slave calls that inspired the earliest American jazz and blues musical traditions. Here at the Tiny Desk, the saxophonist revisits that history with four remarkable songs from the album, all performed with a hope that our country's future will be less painful than its past. -NPR MUSIC
NPR MUSIC "FIRST LISTEN"
Logan Richardson, a saxophonist born and raised in the blues mecca of Kansas City, Mo., had to be thinking about Baraka's argument when he named his new album Blues People. On the album's title track, an invocation spiked with distorted guitars, Richardson quotes an analogous line by the soul singer Donny Hathaway: "I like to do blues as a reflection on a period, past and present, in black people's lives." That might make it seem as if Blues People, the album, prioritizes theory over practice. In fact, something like the inverse is true. - Nate Chinen
LONDON FINANCIAL TIMES
Logan Richardson: Blues People — ‘raw-edged and intense’ Richardson expresses black people's lives past, and present through the sharp lines, and searing tones of his alto sax" -Mike Hobart
"The brash “Anthem (To Human Justice),” the album’s pivotal track, suggests that Richardson merits a seat at the same table as contemporary hitmakers. The track revolves around Richardson’s pleading saxophone, the unifying element that bonds the disparate sounds of Blues People. Many will ask, “that’s all well and good, but is it jazz?” Audacious improvisation that synthesizes a vast swathe of American music, Blues People is precisely what culturally relevant jazz should sound like in 2018." - William Brownlee
"On Blues People, his fourth album, Richardson expresses his restlessness in earthier terms. Rather than famous jazz musicians, he enlisted rhythm aces mostly from around Kansas City: Justus West on guitar, DeAndre Manning on bass, Ryan Lee on drums. (An additional guitarist, Igor Osypov, is a Ukrainian national living in Berlin.) Their rapport is tough and direct, more conducive to a snarling riff than to any flight of improvisational fancy. And while the blues are a focal point, there's an implicit critique of "authenticity" in this music; on an interlude called "Country Boy," listen for how a bottleneck guitar part acquires a digital stutter, like an EDM single.
By design, too, Richardson's alto saxophone often functions more like a lead vocalist than as a virtuoso solo instrument. He's a good conduit for soaring, plaintive melody, notably on a track like "Hidden Figures" or "Anthem (To Human Justice)." And however the band surges or thrashes around him, there's a feeling of urgent communion in this music. (It's a communion that honestly doesn't need exposition, which is one reason West's vocals on "Black Brown and Yellow" strike a rare false note here.)" - Nate Chinen - NPR First Listen