Sunday, June 7, 2009

Logan Richardson At Jardine's

Many jazz instrumentalists play notes simply because it's in their job description.

It's all-to-easy to get away with being utterly uninspired. I often witness polite applause for guys who are settling for playing pretty or are lazily repeating stagnant formulas.

Not Logan Richardson.

A highly-charged May 27 set at Jardine's was loaded with urgent playing. Richardson's insistent solos on soprano and alto saxophones were brimming with intriguing ideas and original concepts.

The audience numbered exactly twenty. A table of four musicians appreciated Richardson, but some in the room seemed put off by the frenetic attack.

His confident work contained echoes of Sonny Rollins, Oliver Lake and John Coltrane. Not to take anything away from Jake Blanton, the night's fine guitarist, but I would have preferred to hear Richardson work with only the support of a rhythm section.

One got the sense that Richardson's musical searches never quite found their destinations. Even so, hearing an artist explore unsuccessfully can be far more compelling than settling for someone who's just going through the motions.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.


WLIB said...

"...Richardson's musical searches never quite found their destinations."

It's about the journey, babe.

bigsteveno said...

Hey, did you see that your blog got a nice shout out in the June issue of Mojo magazine? It's the one with Nick Drake on the cover. Congratulations, you are no longer laboring in obscurity.

Happy In Bag said...

No doubt about it, Lee.

Yes, BigSteveNO! I'll reprint it in my next post. Thanks.

L.F.B. said...


GUITAR is considered part of the rhythm section. The term(s) you are searching for and perhaps not aware of is "Chordless Trio." or "Ornette Coleman" style trio.

I know Logan is from here, and he certainly deserves any and all accolades, but quit pimping the rest of the out of town bands so damn much. Jacob fred is nice, but there is a discipline and a work ethic to playing jazz which involves learning a repetoire, paying dues in local bands, and becoming part of a scene. As far as I can tell B. Haas and co. would be completely lost if they had to do some of the reading and improvising that many kansas city bands have to do in the course of normal business. It's bad enough that the city, club owners, festivals and even the freakin zoo will give jobs, gigs, hell even the keys to the city to non Kansas City musicians, but now you?

You diminish the image of Kansas City jazz every time you pimp Eldar, Jacob Fred, or any of the other acts which use our town and clubs once or twice a year. Meanwhile there are tons of equally talented and creative cats who can't get a gig, or are struggling to get people out to our gigs with no budget from the clubs to promote them. Often the choice we are left with is take shit money and promote it out of the shit money, or stay home.

When Eldar is 40, he won't be that much different than Joe Cartwright, If Brian Haas were to leave Jacob Fred, he couldn't get hired anywhere around here. Personally, I would much rather have Paul Roberts than Eldar or Brian. Paul knows his shit way better than either of those two. He has served his country proudly in Bosnia and Somalia, and is a 100% locally grown commodity.

Dance with the one who brung ya, bag.

Happy In Bag said...


Thanks for your thoughtful criticism. Most of your points are entirely valid.

*Chordless trio- I appreciate the correction.

*Local vs. national- I hear you. Joe Cartwright, for instance, is a fine pianist that I have yet to spotlight at Plastic Sax. There's no shortage of locally-based talent meriting wider exposure.

*That said, I don't see music as a zero-sum game. Hermon Mehari doesn't lose if I choose to write about Wynton Marsalis instead.

*Besides, I think you're wildly overstating the influence of Plastic Sax. It's flattering, L.F.B., but I'm just another geek with a blog.