Logan Richardson’s music is a breath of fresh air. The young saxophonist composes and improvises with an undeniable spirit of musical renewal. The music on Cerebral Flow, Richardson’s debut as a leader, is bold, sophisticated, and uncompromising. The disc portrays a forward thinking, optimistic, vision of a musical world wrought with open ended challenges.
Richardson has a vocal-like quality to his playing; on both soprano and alto sax he can express a wide range of human emotion within the context of a single solo. The poetic yearning on "Our Life Together" is contrasted by the quick tongued wit on "Free the Blues" (a fiery duet with drummer Thomas Crane), and the carefully constructed speech-like delivery on "Animated Concept of Being."
The members of Richardson’s supporting cast on Cerebral Flow are unified in their mission to breath life into the leader’s musical ideas. Vibraphonist Mike Pinto is an aggressive performer who punches his way through the music’s odd metered, harmonic twists like a prize fighter. Guitarist Mike Moreno focuses on middle range, single note lines with a slightly fuzzed out tone. His exceptional solo on "In the Wall" brings to mind the more adventurous efforts of Pat Metheny. Bassist Matthew Brewer, in a very personalized way, is able to maintain a strong foundation under the playful, yet lucid, adventures of Crane and drummer Nasheet Waits.
For those concerned with the abundance of generic sounding technicians sprouting like weeds from American music institutions, Cerebral Flow should serve as soothing evidence of a prosperous future for jazz. Richardson is a force to be reckoned with who will undoubtedly emerge as a leading voice in the coming years.