Keyon Harrold – “Wayfaring Traveler”

Keyon Harrold, “Wayfaring Traveler,” from The Mugician

The Mugician is trumpeter Keyon Harrold’s first release as a leader since debuting in 2009 with the straightahead outing Introducing Keyon Harrold.  It’s also the nickname Don Cheadle bestowed on Harrold while working on Miles Ahead, the 2015 movie in which Cheadle starred as Miles Davis and for which Harrold recorded Davis’ trumpet parts. The tune “Wayfaring Traveler” is a standout track from the new disc and a distillation of the album’s overall vibe, incorporating elements of jazz, rap, rock and reggae into a sleek and grooving whole. Guest vocals from Jermaine Holmes and Georgia Anne Muldrow exemplify the album’s focus on contemporary sociopolitical concerns, and the musicians in Harrold’s topflight band  — guests include Robert Glasper and bluesman Gary Clark, Jr. — ensure that the trumpeter shines brightly throughout. 

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