Keyon Harrold - The Mugician / 150 gram vinyl LP

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The sophomore album from Keyon Harrold, 2017's ambitious, socially conscious The Mugician, finds the New York-based, Ferguson, Missouri-raised jazz trumpeter laying out an intensely felt, genre-bending vision of jazz in the 21st century. As the title somewhat cheekily implies, Harrold is not simply a musician, but also a magician, or "mugician"; a notion evoked by director Don Cheadle when trying to describe the trumpeter's spellbinding work on the 2016 Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead.

Just as Davis broke down musical boundaries throughout his career, Harrold works to bridge genre gaps here, crafting expansive, often cinematic soundscapes that are equal parts improvisational jazz, psychedelic hip-hop, ruminative R&B balladry, and pointed social critique. It's an approach one might expect from a musician who counts both post-bop trumpeter Charles Tolliver and rapper Common as major influences. Joining Harrold on The Mugician are several longtime associates like guitarist Nir Felder, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, bassist Burniss Travis, drummer Mark Colenburg, and others.

There are also a handful of special guests, including acclaimed pianist Robert Glasper and vocalists Jermaine Holmes and Georgia Anne Muldrow, all of whom commune on the atmospheric, '70s soul-infused "Wayfaring Traveler." Similarly, idiosyncratic R&B singer Bilal helps the trumpeter evoke the woozy '90s trip-hop of Massive Attack on "Stay This Way," and rapper Pharoahe Monch applies his acute wordplay to the sultry, minor-key grooves of "Her Beauty Through My Eyes." Also making notable contributions are singers Gary Clark, Jr., actor/comedian Guy Torry, reggae vocalist Josh David Barrett, and more. Harrold even makes room for a heartfelt, motivational voicemail from his mom that he frames with Darin Atwater's wide-screen orchestration. Along the way, he touches upon a bevy of timely, thoughtfully rendered topics from racism and bigotry to romantic fidelity and the environment. Throughout all of The Mugician, Harrold lives up to the album's title, conjuring rounded, clarion trumpet lines, spinning off his collaborators one second, and commanding the spotlight the next with an alchemical swagger.

AllMusicGuide

 

(889854797218)

SKU 889854797218
Barcode # 889854797218
Brand Sony Legacy

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