Epic is an understatement. Spread over three LPs and consisting of over 170 minutes of music composed for a 10 piece band, a 32 piece orchestra, and a 20 person choir by Kamasi Washington - I think it's safe to say his debut album for Brainfeeder is nothing short of mind-blowing. The prolific young saxophonist has been bubbling in the L.A. scene for a minute now, appearing on numerous recordings (from Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma and You're Dead, to cuts from Kendrick Lamar and Snoop, to Quantic and George Duke), but The Epic is his proper debut full length. Kamasi and his core band "The Next Step" have all been tirelessly working at their craft for years, and it truly shows in the music. Each of the players are recognized as some of the best young musicians at their respective instruments (including bassist Thundercat, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., and others), which is why it's not surprising that this is some of the finest new jazz I've ever heard... and it seems it's only just the beginning. From Brainfeeder - "And the story The Epic tells, without words but rather through some combination of magic, mastery, and sheer force of imagination, is the story of Kamasi Washington and the Next Step and their collective mission: to remove jazz from the shelf of relics and make it new, unexpected, and dangerous again. They seek to both honour and alter tradition: as The Epic’s opening track announces, they are the “Changing of the Guard”. The sound can be felt like flames, sometimes waving in the coziness of a fireplace, in other moments sweeping everything around like a backdraft. But Kamasi is always in control of the burning." Triple LP with hard slip case. RECOMMENDED.
- triple LP
- slipcase cover
- music label: Brainfeeder 2015
reviewed by Tonic Note 11/2015
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