Here’s Our First-Take Listen To Keyon Harrold’s ‘The Mugician’ Album
With an all-star list of collaborators, Keyon Harrold’s The Mugician is a blend of genre-blending, spiritually-melodic bombasticness.
Three-time Grammy Award winner (and friend to @Okayplayer) Keyon Harrold had a bit of dark period in 2015 while orchestrating what would become The Mugician. His laptop, which had his entire project’s material on it, was stolen, and the music was lost. A mind-bending frustrating thing to have happened, but he might tell you that that was part of the magic in creating The Mugician. What disappeared and what reappeared (he was able to salvage a couple of original songs) made one of the world’s top musical performers sharper, while captivating his feelings about subjects ripe in this country.
Long known as an artist’s artist, Keyon Harrold’s career is full of moments that one can only hope and dream for. Called the “future of the trumpet” by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, playing world renowned venues such as the Blue Note with Bilal and Big K.R.I.T. and working with the likes of Eminem, Rihanna and Jay-Z — Keyon Harrold is an unheralded legend by the mainstream. But while they continue to sleep, Keyon Harrold will continue to cast a spell on those who yearn for that real.
Out today (Sept. 29) via Legacy Recordings / Mass Appeal Records, The Mugician is 12-songs of reflection, lament, love and dedication. Fueled by the singles “MB Lament” and “Wayfairing Traveler,” The Mugician is the home-cooked serving of flavor, eclectic tastes, stylistic twists and beautiful hues such as hip-hop, blues, rap and, of course, jazz. With appearances from the aforementioned Bilal, Big K.R.I.T., Georgia Anne Muldrow, Pharoahe Monch, Robert Glasper and Gary Clark Jr. — The Mugician is an arrangement of expression that only Keyon Harrold can conduct.
While we have actor Don Cheadle to thank for the album’s hybrid titling, it is Keyon, his band and that ever-loving mystic sound that bubbles within the black cauldron of soul that gives The Mugician its driving groove. Like with our previous entries, this first-take listen of The Mugician features all substance, no filter, no rewinding and no replays of any kind. Please be sure to support the artist by copping or streaming The Mugician for yourself and your friends. Enjoy!