Logan Richardson

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Kansas City, Missouri: A deep vein in the river of improvisational music runs up from the gulf and breeds a style that keeps close to the blues. It is here that Logan Richardson grew up,  saxophone in hand as he hung out in the historic 18th and Vine district. Here the greats performed, respecting the legacy and pushing the art forward: Max Roach, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Heath, Richard Davis, Shirley Scott, and many more. They paid homage to the past legends - Jay Mc Shann, Claude ‘Fiddler’ Williams, Ahmad Alaadeen, Sonny Kenner, Eddie Saunders, and more as they mentored the young players on the scene.

By the age of 16 Logan had become skilled in both classical and improvised music, with opportunies coming from The Kansas City Symphony and performing with Jimmy Heath. At 19 Logan hit the Berklee campus and his horizons began to expand. His new community noticed his style was distinctly Kansas City, while he noticed that everyone had a style that began with their home spot. Philly, New York, New Orleans, each was unique just as verbal language and accents can reveal your roots. At 21 Logan continued on the path, recloating to manhattan to attend The New School. Work came quickly, with recording dates and touring gigs with Nasheet Waits, Stefan Harris, Greg Tardy, Joe Chambers, Billy Hart, Jason Moran, Butch Morris, NEXT Collective, Michelle Rosewoman, Gerald Clayton, World Saxophone Quartet and more. All while developing his own band, and recording his debut and sophomore albums.

In 2011 Logan pushed forward yet again, relocating to Europe – first Galicia, then Rome, then Paris. His third album reflected on these changes – SHIFT was released to worldwide acclaim in 2015.

And now, Logan Richardson returns to Kansas City for his fourth studio album. Taking in the world experience, the LIFE experience, and the current state of humanity on the planet earth, Logan presents Blues People. Recorded in Omaha and mixed in KC, the album features local musicians Ryan Lee on drums, DeAndre Manning on bass, Justus West  on guitar, and the Berlin based, Ukrainian guitar player Igor Osypov.

Blues People begins with an assault on the senses – heavy guitar sets the tone for what will be an excursion into the mind of Logan Richardson. If you were hoping for a nice Jazz lounge evening sipping brandy, you are immediately informed that this will not be the case. Logan stands in front of the heavy intro and states his intent with a quote from Donny Hathaway: ‘I like to do blues as a reflection on a period, past and present, in Black people’s lives. … It is a complete negative… on the secular side, of the religious music that we had in church.’ Logan further informs us ‘ I’m a country and western freak… I dig the simplicity’

And so we are forewarned and also welcomed: Logan tells us that this is chapter 2 of Shift and to an extent we agree. It is a chapter in his life, and a reflection on his personal experiences. Yet Blues People tells the story of a man’s place in history, with a perspective that can only be obtained by being Logan Richardson. In this personal way it becomes universal, as we all have a story to tell.

The album’s core aesthetic, though, is somewhat darker. “Hidden Figures” and “Class Wars” paint bleak musical landscapes with looped drum patterns, soul-searching sax and the echoing resonance of Justus West and Igor Osypov’s guitars.
— Mike Hobart - Financial Times
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

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  • MUSICIANS:
    • LOGAN RICHARDSON - ALTO SAXOPHONE
    • JUSTUS WEST - ELECTRIC GUITAR, AND VOCALS
    • IGOR OSYPOV - ELECTRIC, AND ACOUSTIC GUITARS
    • DeANDRE MANNING - ELECTRIC BASS
    • RYAN LEE - DRUMS
  • ENGINEERS:
    • JEREMY DEATON - RECORDING ENGINEER
    • JUSTIN WILSON - MIXING AND MASTERING ENGINEER
  • PRODUCERS:
    • DOMINIQUE SANDERS
    • LOGAN RICHARDSON