Keyon Harrold – The Mugician

I never heard trumpeter Keyon Harrold’s name until Common mentioned his name on his White House Tiny Desk Concert October 2016. I began to research and found out Keyon was working on an album and one year later, I’m listening to The Mugician. This is not his first album, the appropriately titled Introducing Keyon Harrold was released in 2009. You may have heard him play before, he was recommended by Robert Glasper to tour with Common,  he’s played with Jay-Z, Maxwell and others plus played horn in the fictional Miles Davis story, Miles Ahead as Junior and Miles. Coincidentally, the album’s title comes from a conversation with Don Cheadle during the filming of Miles Ahead about the similarities between music and magic.
Much like Miles, Harrold gets experimental on The Mugician, using different textures and voices to convey his musical vision. Guest appearances abound, with contributions from Georgia Muldrow, Bilal, Big K.R.I.T., Pharoache Monch, Gary Clark Jr and others. However, in the tradition of Jazz, The Mugician tackles relevant social issues of the day including the death of unarmed civilians by police, like Mike Brown, who is from Harrold’s hometown Ferguson Missouri, Black Lives Matter and the current political climate. Only a quarter of the album is instrumental (Ethereal Souls, MBs Lament, and Bubba Rides Again) and these gems with no vocals testify as powerfully as those with commentary. Listen to snippets HERE

Keyon Harrold – Ethereal Souls

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