Fearless Movement

Fearless Movement

Few genres feel as inherently collaborative as jazz, and even fewer contemporary artists embody that spirit quite like Kamasi Washington. After bringing a whole new generation of listeners to jazz through his albums The Epic and Heaven and Earth, as well as his collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, the Los Angeles native and saxophonist amassed an impressively eclectic set of guests to join his forthcoming bandleader project Fearless Movement. Among the guests were Los Angeles rapper D Smoke and funk legend George Clinton, who joined him for “Get Lit.” “That was definitely a beautiful moment,” Washington tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “The sessions were magical; it was like being in a studio with just geniuses.” Originally written by Washington’s longtime drummer Ronald Bruner Jr. (also known as the brother of bass virtuoso Thundercat), “Get Lit” sat around for a bit before the divine inspiration struck to invite Clinton and D Smoke to build upon it. After Washington attended the former’s art exhibition and the latter’s Hollywood Bowl concert in Los Angeles, it couldn’t have been clearer to him who the band needed to make the song shine. Washington compares Clinton’s involvement to magic, marveling in the studio at just how the Parliament-Funkadelic icon operates. “It's like we're listening to it and he's living in it,” he says, conveying how natural it felt having him participate. “When he decides to add something to some music, it's like water.” As for D Smoke, Washington was so impressed by the two-time Grammy nominee’s sense of musicality. “He plays keys, he understands harmony, and all that other stuff. He just knew exactly what to do.” As implied by “Get Lit,” the contributors on Fearless Movement come from varied backgrounds and scenes, from the modern R&B styles of singer BJ the Chicago Kid to the shape-shifting sounds of Washington’s To Pimp a Butterfly peer Terrace Martin. Still, the name that will stand out for many listeners is André 3000, who locked in with the band on the improvisational piece “Dream State.” The Outkast rapper turned critically acclaimed flautist arrived with a veritable arsenal of flutes, inspiring all the players present. “André has one of the most powerful creative spirits that I've ever experienced,” Washington says. “We just created that whole song in the moment together without knowing where we was going.” Allowing himself to give in to the uncertainty and promise of that particular moment succinctly encapsulates the wider ethos behind all of Fearless Movement. “A lot of times, I feel like you can get stuck holding on to what you have because you're unwilling to let it go,” he says. “This album is really speaking on that idea of just being comfortable in what you are and where you want to go.”

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