blues

PEOPLE

LISTEN

THE BAND                    

"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

 

GALLERY