Photo: Aus Jazz

Keyon Harrold Blows Down All Musical Barriers

The link between be-bop and hip hop has been well established by O.G.’s like Quincy Jones. The late great Guru did his Jazzmatazz thing not once but three times, and bassist Ron Carter lent his subsonic vibrations to A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory. Yet the powers of musical apartheid still keep creativity segregated in neat little boxes.

Grammy Award winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold is one of the world’s most sought-after musicians with a long list of high-profile genre-bending collaborations. Blessed with prodigious jazz chops he uses his horn to blow down all musical barriers. That trumpet on “Roc Boys” by Jay-Z? Keyon Harrold. The punchy brass on Beyonce’s “Back Up“? Keyon Harrold. The horn arrangement on “Touch The Sky” by 50 Cent? Keyon Harrold. The tasty lead on Mac Miller’s “Stay“? Keyon Harrold. You get the idea. The list of collabs goes on and on, including the likes of Eminem, Maxwell, and Common.

Now comes word that Keyon will be releasing his second solo album The Mugician via Legacy Recordings/Mass Appeal Records on September 29th. The new LP features an all-star guest list, including Gary Clark Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Bilal, Pharoahe Monch and master pianist Robert Glasper. From spiritual chants and soulful singing to bombastic expressions of frustration and melodic pleas for understanding, Keyon’s arrangements color many different ways to hear the world in 2017.

Ferguson holds a large presence throughout The Mugician. Keyon pays tribute to Michael Brown on “MB Lament” as strings echo a smoking gun while the bass line repeats over and over, reminiscent of the recurrence of systemic police brutality. “When Will It Stop” follows suit to “MB Lament” featuring actor and comedian Guy Torry, also from the St. Louis area, who employs humor to confront all forms of bigotry, sexism, and racism while Keyon leads the driving groove. On “Circus Show,” Keyon and Gary Clark Jr. trade verses and hooks while trying to make sense of America’s “Broken” newscast over the repeated Marvin Gaye mantra “What’s going on?”

From start to finish Keyon Harrold’s new album is a work of art that blasts through all types of barriers and boundaries as it seeks to unify the human race through the power of music.


Check out the full track list below:

The Mugician track list:
1. Voicemail (ft. Shirley Harrold)
2. The Mugician (ft. Josh David Barrett)
3. MB Lament
4. When Will It Stop? (ft. Guy Torry)
5. Wayfaring Traveler (ft. Jermaine Holmes, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Robert Glasper)
6. Stay This Way (ft. Bilal and Big K.R.I.T.)
7. Lullaby
8. Her Beauty Through My Eyes (ft. Pharoahe Monch)
9. Ethereal Souls
10. Broken News (ft. Andrea Pizziconi)
11. Circus Show (ft. Gary Clark Jr.)
12. Bubba Rides Again

Pre-order The Mugician here.

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