Kamasi Washington Continues To Revolutionize The Jazz Scene

Two years after “The Epic”, Kamasi Washington returns with his new single “Truth”


(GQ Photos/Lede In Illustration)

Only a few musicians have had the debut that Kamasi Washington had. He exploded onto the jazz scene with an ambitious three-hour album appropriately entitled The Epic. It features a full jazz band, orchestra, choir and two drummers, as well as, many incredible musicians such as Thundercat and Ronald Bruner Jr. Initially, I thought that it would be impossible to incorporate so many people in an album without sounding overcrowded and disorganized.

I could not have been more wrong.

The tracks on the album were explosive, creative, and each section was able to play off the other. Right from the beginning, you are exposed to the full power of the entire ensemble, which is then followed up by one of my favorite tracks of that year, “Askim”. Although The Epic is three hours long, I can ensure you that there is more than enough creativity to keep you interested, which is something Washington should be commended for. The tracks range in style and every sub-genre of jazz is brilliantly captured. Everything is included from ballads to more lively and fast-paced arrangements. No album with Ronald Bruner Jr. would be complete without a jaw-dropping drum solo with his signature speed and style. Fortunately, we get this in the last track of the album,“The Message”. I can honestly say that this is one of the greatest jazz albums of all time and I can’t recommend it enough, even to those who do not consider themselves to be fans of jazz. Washington is truly one of a kind.

This year, Washington released a new track entitled “Truth” from his upcoming EP, Harmony of Difference. It’s a great reminder of what we all came to love from his first album. The choir, orchestra, and full jazz band has returned, as well as, the inclusion of a few more instruments. In the middle of the song, we get to hear a wonderful saxophone solo from Washington himself.

A short film was also released to accompany his new track, which in my personal experience, have never seen a jazz musician do before. The film begins with some long takes of Christ imagery, which seems to imply who we should look for to find “truth”. As the film progresses, we see depictions of people living their daily lives, allowing the audience to explore the relationships that we share with one another. Overall, I found this short film to be very well thought out and creative.

Make sure to keep him an eye out for him. I’m predicting that Kamasi Washington’s upcoming EP, Harmony of Difference, will be just as revolutionary to the jazz scene as his first project.

Follow Lede In on Twitter.