Blues People, is a modern day version of the Kansas City Blues, Black American Music, and Rock & Roll tradition. In being such, consequently this documentation is an accumulation of experiences, and influences that have given way to a fresh sonic fusion of sound that calls on the genetic DNA of the forefathers of modern popular music.
Shift is a welcome return to the emotive stylings of Logan Richardson, the Paris-based, Kansas City-born saxophonist and composer who garnered respect as a fluent voice with his 2007 debut Cerebral Flow (Fresh Sound) and projects with peers like pianist Gerald Clayton in NEXT Collective. With this debut on Blue Note the blending of culturally rich environments feed creative music realized by Richardson's dream band of jazz luminaries: guitarist Pat Metheny, pianist Jason Moran and a superb rhythm unit of bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Nasheet Waits.
The Italian guitarist and bandleader Nicola Conte has recorded his first album for the legendary, recently re-established MPS records. Conte has brought with him his cosmic-cosmopolitan ensemble of stars which includes trumpeter Theo Croker, saxophonists Logan Richardson and Magnus Lindgren, and singer Zara McFarlane. For the most part recorded in Bari, Italy and Johannesburg, South Africa, it is a sensitive work of art that crosses the border between soul and spiritual Afro-jazz.Nicola Conte has cast his vision of cosmic jazz into a seamless tonal design – without restricting his players' freedom, leaving them open to the influences of the diverse cultures. "Everyone should be able to express themselves freely," Conte says; "this album is much more open than my last one. Everything was recorded live and with a minimum of overdubs."
Since departing from the urban R&B group Undacova in the late '90s, Calvin Richardson has recorded infrequently. While his 1999 debut nu-soul set, Country Boy, was a knockout, it was critically underappreciated. He followed this in 2003 with another fine album, 2:35 P.M., and When Love Comes in 2008. That said, his 2009 offering, Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack, a full-length tribute to one of his primary influences, is a wildly ambitious but logical step. The dangers in doing a tribute to a legendary artist, especially Womack, one of soul music’s most storied and colorful legends as both a singer and songwriter, is a daunting task. But Richardson’s and Womack’s voices are very similar, though the latter’s is not as rough as the former’s and has more gospel in it, which works very well in adding to most of these songs.