17 Songs, 2 Hours 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The most ambitious jazz album to arrive in ages, Los Angeles saxophonist/composer Kamasi Washington's debut clocks in at 174 minutes—with never a dull moment. While his flawless 10-piece band already packs a wallop, thanks to their doubled basses and drums, Washington embellishes them with a string section and angelic choir. Like his luminous playing on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Washington solos with power and grace here. Versions of "Cherokee" and Terence Blanchard's "Malcolm's Theme" nod to jazz tradition, but it's originals like "Change of the Guard" that signal his truly epic aspirations.

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

The most ambitious jazz album to arrive in ages, Los Angeles saxophonist/composer Kamasi Washington's debut clocks in at 174 minutes—with never a dull moment. While his flawless 10-piece band already packs a wallop, thanks to their doubled basses and drums, Washington embellishes them with a string section and angelic choir. Like his luminous playing on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Washington solos with power and grace here. Versions of "Cherokee" and Terence Blanchard's "Malcolm's Theme" nod to jazz tradition, but it's originals like "Change of the Guard" that signal his truly epic aspirations.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
191 Ratings

191 Ratings

Prof. Johnson ,

The Epic is EPIC!!!!!

New music that is really NEW. Jazz is not dead. It is alive and well. Live musicianship and song writing is alive and well. Los Angeles has so many hidden local music treasures. Kamasi Washington and the players on this project are prime examples of them though you’ve seen and heard them play with other groups in other genres all around the world. The legacy of West Coast jazz and Gerald Wilson’s arranging legacy is in tact and going full steam ahead. The beauty of the city and depth of young musicians runs all through this three album project. THREE!?!?! WHO DOES THAT!??! Greatness does that. Masterfully put together, each song going one into the other. There is NO skipping around here. It’s like being at a live jazz show but it is in your stereo or headphones. CHOPS CHOPS CHOPS to spare here. Do yourself a favor and get this….ASAP.

Iamjoytwice ,

Time Travel. ...

It was, John Coltrane, 70's Saturday morning cartoons and Star Trek (to be exact).
It was, Grover Washington Jr., Love Unlimited Orchestra, Blue Magic, The Stylistics and Debussy.
It was Alvin Alley, Pearl Bailey and even The King and I on Broadway baby!
I heard Linus and Lucy, NO, it was Leroy and Lanisha, my God what was this man doing to me? It was the gospel or should I say the GodSpell that could not be denied, lain down by none other than Kamasi Washington. It took me back to a sunny Summer day, on a cold concrete stoop when I was only 6 years old, chewing red shoelace candy and smelling the Niagra spray starch blow through the curtains from inside the house where my mother pressed the families clothes to the best of the best Jazz.
I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry, the music touched me so deep I could not tell a lie. This man was for real and for real was the deal as I walked, cooked, ate and relaxed in tears of joy to all 17 tracks on Kamasi Washington's The Epic.
Nothing like a genius, his lips and fingertips caressing the soul of a woman.
I wanted to moan, I wanted to hum, I wanted to come —into Space and Time but I could not quite figure the emotion I was feeling. When I couldn't tell if I were in agony or experiencing utter joy, I knew it was ecstasy, Christmas In May.
I heard him say: "Woman are you calling me a fraud?"
I said no love I'm calling you a genius,
so pure, so sweet, play it for me baby. ...

LargePro ,

History in the Making

Had the privilege of being at the record release party @ The Regent in LA last night. What an unbelievable musical experience. It was part revival meeting, part extraterrestrial space travel. People were in awe and brought together as one living breathing organism by this man's music. All on an otherwise humdrum Monday night! This album is history in the making. Keep on, Kamasi Washington, keep on.

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