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Jazz - Released May 11, 2015 | Brainfeeder

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Qobuzissime
Like its creator, Kamasi Washington's triple album debut, The Epic is imposing, multi-faceted and aspiring to change music forever. A close collaborator with fellow innovative Angelenos Stephen Bruner (Thundercat), Steven Ellison (Flying Lotus) and Kendrick Lamar, Washington's evolved vision mixes bebop, soul jazz, old school organ trio R&B, space jazz and fusion à la Miles Davis. At the center of this prismatic, conscious-expanding maelstrom is Washington's bodacious horn whose tone and approach can by turns be compared to the playing of Azar Lawrence, Pharoah Sanders and especially John Coltrane. The musical forces assembled to energize Washington's intuitive, spiritual meld are truly Herculean. Supported by Thundercat, keyboardists Cameron Graves and Brandon Coleman, trombones, trumpets and more, Washington, who also served as producer, worked a string section, a 20-voice choir and solo vocalist Patrice Quinn into his futuristic arrangements. Despite overdubbing by the project's six engineers, the sonic results are sleek and uncluttered. The diverse flavors here vary with each tune. Introduced by Coleman's organ, "Final Thought" mixes funk and post-bop with Washington's nimble honking. The swing rhythms and wordless vocal choir of "The Next Step" show the results of his time with innovative big band leader Gerald Wilson. Unadulterated fun is the object of the 70's funk groove, "Re Run Home." For those who doubt his connection to music history there's the one-two punch of the standard "Cherokee" and his soaring re-imagining of a movement of Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune." While one can quibble that perhaps three discs is too much of a good thing, it's clear from the assured first notes of the aptly-titled opener "Change of the Guard" that Washington is a musical mystic who's fused his wisdoms and exposures into a debut that's not a product of the insular jazz bubble, nor an au courant hip hop-jazz mashup, but three hours that somehow sound old and new in the same moment—a virtuosic musical statement, one constantly verging on genius. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 29, 2017 | Young Turks Recordings

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
In 2015, with his triple album aptly named The Epic, Kamasi Washington became, at over 34 years old, the new heartthrob of the jazz scene, even transcending its boundaries. It must be said that in parallel to his purely jazz works, the Californian saxophonist did a series of freelance works for artists as diverse as Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp a Butterfly and Damn), Flying Lotus (You’re Dead!), Thundercat (The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam), Run The Jewels (Run The Jewels 3) or even Ryan Adams (Gold). And since The Epic was released on Brainfeeder, the electro label created by Flying Lotus, all the elements were in place to make the man and his music even more atypical…. Here, this is yet again a “not really jazz” record label that welcomes him, Young Turks Records, a subdivision of XL Recordings where you’ll find The XX as well as FKA Twigs, Sampha and SBTRKT. A rather short opus (barely more than 30 minutes), Harmony Of Difference actually offers music that is mainly composed for a multimedia body of work presented at the Whitney Museum in New York, notably paintings by the saxophonist’s sister, Amani Washington, and a short film from the Spanish director AG Rojas. We arrive at a result rather in the spirit of The Epic. Kamasi Washington mixes energy and spirituality with the virtuosity for which he is known, his breath awakening the ghost of Gato Barbieri as well as the one of Pharoah Sanders. Also present is his capacity to stack the layers, whether percussive, blowing or harmonic, without ever being indigestible. On the contrary, the passion as well as the tsunami of emotions that emerge from Harmony Of Difference will even be able to reach an audience usually unreceptive to the jazz idiom… © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 15, 2020 | Young Turks Recordings

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Even if Becoming isn’t a classic studio album by Kamasi Washington like his ambitious records The Epic and Heaven and Earth, it’s still a score that the saxophonist from Los Angeles makes truly his own. Composed to accompany Nadia Hallgren’s documentary about Michelle Obama’s tour to promote Becoming all over the US, this completely instrumental soundtrack fits with the polished, razor-sharp images of a 100% Netflix production. The Kamasi Washington sound, the orchestral approach and the pure melodies are all there; but the avant-gardist veils are balanced by a much more soulful, almost pop approach. It’s a bit like a slightly watered-down Kamasi, which is still very good if not brilliant, plus the more daring themes such as Provocation will be sure to satisfy the saxophonist's demanding fans... Becoming's production team obviously didn't choose the Californian by chance; he perfectly embodies the American dream under Obama’s presidency. He’s a young African-American activist who grew up in Inglewood, became a sideman for Snoop and Kendrick and ended up as a star of the international jazz scene... Despite the lack of risk-taking or lively improvisations, Kamasi Washington proves that even in a marked out and policed context he can still create his own sounds and stay true to himself. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 26, 2020 | Wide Hive Records

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Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Young Turks Recordings

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Jazz - Released January 2, 2017 | Wide Hive Records

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Jazz - Released June 21, 2018 | Young Turks Recordings

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Jazz - Released September 6, 2016 | Wide Hive Records

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Jazz - Released May 15, 2020 | Young Turks Recordings

Even if Becoming isn’t a classic studio album by Kamasi Washington like his ambitious records The Epic and Heaven and Earth, it’s still a score that the saxophonist from Los Angeles makes truly his own. Composed to accompany Nadia Hallgren’s documentary about Michelle Obama’s tour to promote Becoming all over the US, this completely instrumental soundtrack fits with the polished, razor-sharp images of a 100% Netflix production. The Kamasi Washington sound, the orchestral approach and the pure melodies are all there; but the avant-gardist veils are balanced by a much more soulful, almost pop approach. It’s a bit like a slightly watered-down Kamasi, which is still very good if not brilliant, plus the more daring themes such as Provocation will be sure to satisfy the saxophonist's demanding fans... Becoming's production team obviously didn't choose the Californian by chance; he perfectly embodies the American dream under Obama’s presidency. He’s a young African-American activist who grew up in Inglewood, became a sideman for Snoop and Kendrick and ended up as a star of the international jazz scene... Despite the lack of risk-taking or lively improvisations, Kamasi Washington proves that even in a marked out and policed context he can still create his own sounds and stay true to himself. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 5, 2015 | Wide Hive Records

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Jazz - Released April 13, 2017 | Young Turks Recordings

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Kamasi Washington in the magazine