As a genre for Afrofuturism in recent years it is to a film and the game changing Black Panther first and foremost that I turn. However, the movement goes way back to focus in instead on a jazz relevance probably first of all to Sun Ra and most potently in the last decade to Kamasi Washington and The Epic. About a new world, an existence that for African-Americans transcends the bigotry and racism they encounter in America it also is an artistic vision in its own positivity and right with its own iconography.
Alto saxophonist composer Logan Richardson compares well with Soweto Kinch in the UK in terms of ideas, artistry and the ability to create a world that is bigger than a solo on a record or a bunch of tunes on an album. Until this latest my favourite of his albums was Cerebral Flow back his early Fresh Sound New Talent days approaching a decade and a half ago. But it was on Blue Note that he made his name keeping A-list company with Pat Metheny and Jason Moran before moving to Philly imprint Ropeadope when he less successfully approached the Kansas City blues traditions.
Afrofuturism is very much an album listen not just a snack of tracks and is his most ambitious and impressive album to date. It is nevertheless quite sprawling in its direction. Very cinematic meaning particularly that the vision is panoramic not highly miniaturised compared to hearing the American say live in 2016 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London with his stimulating quintet this new record is a galaxy away from that nevertheless invigorating experience.
An intense and a very immersive listen the saxophone voice is all, and Richardson has a lot of personality in his sound that embraces a bluesy ache and like Kinch a scalding sense of attack, although the key ignition within the band distils down to Dominique Sanders on bass guitar and Ryan J. Lee and Corey Fonville on drums. The album includes a good deal of spoken word, some field recordings, a take on trap and a tribute to McCoy Tyner. SG. On Whirlwind
Tags: Album / EP reviews