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For this Kansas City jazz musician, fragility is beautiful

Kansas City jazz saxophonist Logan Richardson in Charlie Parker's old apartment.
Julie Denesha
KCUR 89.3
Logan Richardson in the Midtown Kansas City apartment where jazz genius Charlie Parker lived as a boy, from 1930 to 1932.

Logan Richardson is recognized for his genre-bending approach to jazz and Black American music. In his latest album, 'Holy Water,’ his music continues to confront deep emotion.

Since leaving Kansas City more than 20 years ago, alto saxophonist, composer, and producer Logan Richardson has toured internationally, lived abroad and, most recently, released his sixth album as a bandleader. It's called "Holy Water."

The album is an extension of recent projects that have helped him share his inner self with the world, he told Up To Date's Steve Kraske on Wednesday.

“I've realized with age that wisdom is supposed to be the scapegoat for emotional fragility, meaning: Now that I'm older and wiser I don’t have any errors in my form," he said. "And we know that doesn’t work."

Richardson attended Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts as a teen, before moving to New York City to study music at The New School. In 2019, he returned to Kansas City and stayed in the Midtown apartment where Charlie Parker, the city's first saxophone icon, lived briefly as a child. That's where Richardson created his own record label, WAX Industry.

"Holy Water" was produced in 2021, while he was living in Rome, Italy, and the album deals with feelings of confinement and restlessness.

Richardson said he's learned over the years and through his music that creativity isn't supposed to be perfect.

“I'm not afraid of moments that may happen that someone may want to edit out of the track, or things that may be a little gritty," he said. "I like keeping all of those things in there because I think that's all a part of the refinement."

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