By Joshua Myers | Published April 2021
Afrofuturism is many things—a literary genre, an artistic movement, a perspective heralding a new and better way. It is also a sound. That Logan Richardson chose this title for his latest album bespeaks a desire to match the dreams of a liberated future with a message both concealed and magnified in what can best be described as a kind of ballad-driven, electric blues. Known as one of the most gifted and transformative alto saxophonists of his generation, it is Richardson’s compositional prowess that shines here. Extending from his previous album, Blues People, this work evinces a powerful rendering of life in hard times. But with it, we are reminded that such times won’t last always.
Richardson offers a range of electronic and acoustic instrumentation that belies easy description. The production work on the aptly titled “Trap” has every element of this electronic blues, but it is a conversation with one of hip-hop’s most critical modern inventions. The music is like poetry, evoking movement and transportation. But where we are going is more a collective enterprise. Sound is a map, not a territory.
Afrofuturism: Say My Name; The Birth Of Us; Awaken; Sunrays; For Alto; Light; Trap; Grandma; Farewell; Black Wallstreet; Photo Copy; Round Up; According To You; Praise Song; I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Drawn That Way. (52:32)
Personnel: Logan Richardson, alto saxophone, keyboards; Igor Osypov, guitar, acoustic guitar; Peter Schlamb, vibraphone, keyboards, key bass; Dominique Sanders, bass, key bass; Laura Taglialatela, vocals; Ezgi Karakus, strings; Ryan J. Lee, drums, bass; Corey Fonville, drums.