Kamasi Washington - The Epic

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No thread dedicated to this album? My 3xLP box set just arrived today months after pre-ordering it so making do with the autorip mp3's and it really is a brilliant album.

https://boomkat2-prelive-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/spree/products/296287/large/kamasi-washington_si_01.jpg
https://boomkat2-prelive-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/spree/products/296288/large/kamasi-washington_si_02.jpg
https://open.spotify.com/album/4CyxLQLru2I7ZTJXZsGSq5

"The Epic is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington. Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly ten-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet – including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Cameron Graves, and trombonist Ryan Porter. Patrice Quinn’s ethereal vocals round out the ensemble. The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and its members – who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West Coast Get Down” – have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two. The rest met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively in the tens of thousands."

Cosmic Slop, Friday, 2 October 2015 16:39 (one year ago) Permalink

i still need to check this out! something about it seems to good to be true, but i know plenty of people who have said it's the real deal.

tylerw, Friday, 2 October 2015 16:42 (one year ago) Permalink

It's a great record, and if the band comes through your town, be there.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 2 October 2015 16:45 (one year ago) Permalink

ha i just missed them last week D:

tylerw, Friday, 2 October 2015 16:45 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah been waiting for the vinyl of this

Οὖτις, Friday, 2 October 2015 16:48 (one year ago) Permalink

I like the album a lot, live show completely blew it out of the water, kinda been hard to go back

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 2 October 2015 16:52 (one year ago) Permalink

am down with this record

Haino Corrida (NickB), Friday, 2 October 2015 16:59 (one year ago) Permalink

(dunno if the black, red and gold sleeves are symbolic but they make a nice german flag there btw)

Haino Corrida (NickB), Friday, 2 October 2015 17:02 (one year ago) Permalink

this album reminds me of the 70s axelrod/adderley groove ..

i.e. its fucking brilliant.

mark e, Friday, 2 October 2015 17:27 (one year ago) Permalink

Ah crap, I see that he played Boston way back in August before I knew the album. Album is great though!

EveningStar (Sund4r), Friday, 2 October 2015 18:16 (one year ago) Permalink

love this & the Debussy cover is so pretty, didn't know there was a vinyl edition out

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Friday, 2 October 2015 18:22 (one year ago) Permalink

The thing that this reminded me of was the McCoy Tyner 'Extensions' album, but I only have a narrow frame of reference here. actually I feel pretty self-conscious that I'm praising this but I haven't actually listened to all that many contemporary jazz records since the whatever the last indie-crowd breakthrough one was, but that says more about my lazy listening habits than the music itself

Haino Corrida (NickB), Friday, 2 October 2015 18:57 (one year ago) Permalink

ha yeah, that is probably why i've yet to check this out yet -- it feels "aimed" at me in some sense (like retro soul for sun ra fans?). but if it's good it's good.

tylerw, Friday, 2 October 2015 19:04 (one year ago) Permalink

Don't hold back tyler, it is truly stunning in places

Haino Corrida (NickB), Friday, 2 October 2015 19:07 (one year ago) Permalink

nickb tells the truth.

mark e, Friday, 2 October 2015 19:41 (one year ago) Permalink

They crammed 82 minutes on a 3lp gotta be a terrible pressing

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 2 October 2015 22:27 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm sorry 170 minutes! I'm not sure how that's physically possible

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 2 October 2015 22:29 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah seems like 150 minutes would be pushing it... isn't 25 minutes about as much as is wise to put on one side of vinyl?

tylerw, Friday, 2 October 2015 22:32 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah

Οὖτις, Friday, 2 October 2015 22:33 (one year ago) Permalink

and even that's pushing it depending on the type of music

Οὖτις, Friday, 2 October 2015 22:33 (one year ago) Permalink

does "half speed cut" mean anything to you guys?

3 x black 180g 12" in artworked 3mm spined sleeves all housed in a rigid board outer slipcase. Half speed cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering. Includes 2 x 12" poster inserts featuring exclusive artwork by KC Woolf Haxton and story adaptation and calligraphy by Kenturah Davis. MP3 download code also enclosed.

I have no idea about technical stuff but my 3xLP sounds absolutely fine

Cosmic Slop, Friday, 2 October 2015 23:13 (one year ago) Permalink

This is my favourite album of 2015 so far. Seeing him in London in a few weeks, for his first UK show. If it's anything like the NPR YouTube of his album launch gig, I may explode with joy.

mike t-diva, Friday, 2 October 2015 23:26 (one year ago) Permalink

mike this is the first time you & i ever agreed on anything musically I think ;)

Cosmic Slop, Friday, 2 October 2015 23:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Ok I'm listening to this RIGHT NOW. I like it.

tylerw, Friday, 2 October 2015 23:33 (one year ago) Permalink

It's definitely my album of the year even if I am one of those who doesnt listen to much jazz after the 1970s

Cosmic Slop, Friday, 2 October 2015 23:34 (one year ago) Permalink

it is a pretty impressive album, aptly titled for sure imo, just very cool that someone put out an album full of this much ambition and with such a large scope, and to have it received so positively especially for a contemporary jazz album. i have to admit i haven't really absorbed the entire thing enough to get a sense of it, 170 minutes is so much music! i've probably only played the whole thing once, though particular pieces of it more than that.

interesting to hear about the 3-lp set, curious to hear whether or not they pull it off in terms of sound quality. i think i maybe mentioned it on the jazz thread but this is an incredibly dense album musically -- i mean a 10-piece jazz band, 20-person choir, 32-piece orchestra -- that is a lot of sonic information to convey in a recording especially one informed by the chaos of free jazz and ime this album really showed the limits of my modest stereo. i didn't even bother playing it on my car stereo beyond a track or two, it was just too dense and i felt like i was missing a LOT of what was happening. i mean i feel the same way about ascension, that's not for the car or my ipod, but that was recorded beautifully and also it is only what a double quartet?

marcos, Friday, 2 October 2015 23:44 (one year ago) Permalink

Def my album of the year too

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 3 October 2015 00:39 (one year ago) Permalink

Can someone report back definitively on the vinyl pressing? I have this on hold at the store here and don't wanna drop $40 if it sounds worse than the CD I already have. Sure does look awesome though

Wimmels, Saturday, 3 October 2015 01:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Ive not heard the CD but its fine to me, but I appreciate my ears aren't one to trust

Cosmic Slop, Saturday, 3 October 2015 01:33 (one year ago) Permalink

I agree it's initially a lot to process. I ended up working backwards: CD3 is perhaps the easiest to digest, so I stuck with that for a while and left CD1 to last. I also streamed "Re Run Home" and "Miss Understanding" over and over again until they became familiar, later doing the same for "Changing of the Guard" and "Askim". Hacking off little chunks and chewing on them, basically.

mike t-diva, Saturday, 3 October 2015 08:24 (one year ago) Permalink

Cosmic Slop, have you also heard the album he's put out this year with Throtlle Elevator Music? Jazz sax over rock/punk/thrash, if you will. I also love "Them Changes", his track with Thundercat.

mike t-diva, Saturday, 3 October 2015 08:27 (one year ago) Permalink

Awhile ago I put together a Spotify playlist of all his non-Epic material that I could round up - not just the Throttle Elevator Music albums (there are three), but the Young Jazz Giants album from about a decade ago and his sideman appearances on albums by George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Harvey Mason, etc. Here's the link.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 3 October 2015 09:55 (one year ago) Permalink

the organ playing on "Isabelle" is one of my favorite things ever.

Heez, Saturday, 3 October 2015 13:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Mike I havent but will now thanks to phil's link. thanks!

Cosmic Slop, Saturday, 3 October 2015 15:10 (one year ago) Permalink

i dunno about the vinyl, but i got to see him and his band up close in a tiny horse barn at Pickathon and it was life-changing, man. if you have a chance to see 'em, do so.

alpine static, Saturday, 3 October 2015 15:27 (one year ago) Permalink

Only a couple songs in and now kicking myself for not catching his show at Icehouse on Eat Street a month ago.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:49 (one year ago) Permalink

Dude they were supposed to play until 12, I left at 1:30 and they were still going strong

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 3 October 2015 20:40 (one year ago) Permalink

didn't realise until reading this thread that there was a London gig imminent - sold out obv :(

pep ponk aliyev (seandalai), Saturday, 3 October 2015 21:28 (one year ago) Permalink

this album reminds me of the 70s axelrod/adderley groove ..

sold

brimstead, Saturday, 3 October 2015 23:01 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah and parts of it remind me of New Grass and other jazz goes pop thread touchstones

pep ponk aliyev (seandalai), Sunday, 4 October 2015 00:08 (one year ago) Permalink

OK, bought the vinyl version today. If it sounds crummy I'm holding ILX responsible

Just kidding, I don't care that much, especially since the packaging looks so cool. Will report back

Wimmels, Sunday, 4 October 2015 01:01 (one year ago) Permalink

well, this is some moderately pleasant background music

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 4 October 2015 04:26 (one year ago) Permalink

truly remarkable in how it combines total wallpaper inoffensiveness with showboat egocentrism hero auteurism. and they said it couldn't be done!

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 4 October 2015 04:28 (one year ago) Permalink

They said it about your posts, mainly.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Sunday, 4 October 2015 06:41 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah its also what they said about banging your mom

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 4 October 2015 07:47 (one year ago) Permalink

well, this is some moderately pleasant background music

Lester bangs on 'a love supreme' amirite?

Haino Corrida (NickB), Sunday, 4 October 2015 07:53 (one year ago) Permalink

The emperor has no edge!

twunty fifteen (imago), Sunday, 4 October 2015 08:30 (one year ago) Permalink

I tried to listen to this the other day but I couldn't really hear it through my tmi earwax storm (ongoing) - in this state all music induces the sensation of longing

twunty fifteen (imago), Sunday, 4 October 2015 08:32 (one year ago) Permalink

imago what the hell kind of earwax problem do you have a couple visits to the doctor can't fix

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 4 October 2015 09:32 (one year ago) Permalink

if you like that, the Sons of Kemet album from a couple of years ago is also amazing: two drummers (including the bandleader from Polar Bear), clarinet, and tuba (playing basslines, basically).

Their new one is great.

Andy K, Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:50 (one year ago) Permalink

Sons of Kemet have a new one?!

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:55 (one year ago) Permalink

new video by sons of kemet :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPFRBTS39Vo

mark e, Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:58 (one year ago) Permalink

Hot damn they do.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:59 (one year ago) Permalink

Fucking love that first album. Will pedal home via HMV on the off chance they have it.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:59 (one year ago) Permalink

That track is awesome.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 8 October 2015 13:05 (one year ago) Permalink

for folks who are interested in retro '70s-style prog-jazz from this year I recommend Escondido Sessions by the Brian Ellis Group: http://open.spotify.com/album/4bd3e1VbBFLGkPFOtLbiDk

welltris (crüt), Thursday, 8 October 2015 13:18 (one year ago) Permalink

re cover art :
was an eyebrow raising moment when i found out that the picture is kamasi standing in front of a graffiti/wall mural.
i thought the art had been done specifically for the release.
(or was it ?)

mark e, Thursday, 8 October 2015 13:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, good call on the Ambrose Akinmusire.

― o. nate, Wednesday, October 7, 2015 9:29 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

cool! glad you like ambrose.

also appreciated 誤訳侮辱's thoughts on him upthread

marcos, Thursday, 8 October 2015 13:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Davu Seru is well worth checking out everything he does in interesting tho he's def improv/free/spiritual hat

http://www.davuseru.com/

Comme Si, Kamasi (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 8 October 2015 13:47 (one year ago) Permalink

well if you guys like that Sons of Kemet thing then you might like this (cool video though):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KsxTgYdQNM

lil urbane (Jordan), Thursday, 8 October 2015 13:54 (one year ago) Permalink

was an eyebrow raising moment when i found out that the picture is kamasi standing in front of a graffiti/wall mural.
whaaaat that's crazy (cool)

niels, Thursday, 8 October 2015 16:30 (one year ago) Permalink

shadow photoshopped out or something I assume

Οὖτις, Thursday, 8 October 2015 16:35 (one year ago) Permalink

spiritual hat too

Haino Corrida (NickB), Thursday, 8 October 2015 16:49 (one year ago) Permalink

This was cool but not really worth three hours of my life. Good playing, ehh compositions, the choir needed to go away. I feel let down.

The Reverend, Friday, 9 October 2015 08:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Holy shit the new Sons of Kemet is great.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 12 October 2015 12:19 (one year ago) Permalink

Just saw them in Istanbul! Good show

niels, Sunday, 18 October 2015 17:55 (one year ago) Permalink

I am enjoying this album; it is fantastic commuting music.

I wish the choir was mixed just a hair louder, and that a couple of the bigger voices in it blended a little more.

I Am Curious (Dolezal) (DJP), Monday, 19 October 2015 14:36 (one year ago) Permalink

A twelve minute song from this album appeared in the middle of my Spotify discovery playlist. It was good, but didn't particularly fit in there.

MarkoP, Monday, 19 October 2015 15:06 (one year ago) Permalink

I am enjoying this album; it is fantastic commuting music.

Yeah, I've been listening to this more lately (mostly because of this thread), and it's been growing on me -- and I've particularly enjoyed it while I'm out walking around. Still feels sort of exhausting, though.

jaymc, Monday, 19 October 2015 15:42 (one year ago) Permalink

I love it. The choirs are a great throwback and I think work very well. That said, it's hard to sit through for three hours or so, and instead pick a disc and listen to it by itself.

octobeard, Monday, 19 October 2015 18:43 (one year ago) Permalink

I wish the choir was mixed just a hair louder

Hah, I was thinking I wish they were further back in the mix, ghostlier.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Monday, 19 October 2015 18:47 (one year ago) Permalink

The thing is, they often double a horn so they kind of blend in as it is; I want them a hair louder so the points where they do go off in another direction jump out at the listener more.

I Am Curious (Dolezal) (DJP), Monday, 19 October 2015 20:14 (one year ago) Permalink

more in 'the jazz group + real producer' vibe, like that Dave Douglas group with Shigeto, but judging off one track this is more fun:
https://soundcloud.com/brainfeeder/kneebody-daedelus-drum-battle

lil urbane (Jordan), Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:28 (one year ago) Permalink

New album by Matthew Halsall + Gondwana Orchestra is really nice - spiritual/Alice Coltrane/Dorothy Ashby/Theme de Yoyo vibes. Maybe a bit Gilles Peterson, depends on how allergic you are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syxfpcmhlUc

pep ponk aliyev (seandalai), Tuesday, 27 October 2015 20:26 (one year ago) Permalink

finally digging into this - pretty good if kinda generic spiritual hat. choir stuff reminds me mostly of A New Perspective. tbf I'm not all the way through it yet, maybe it'll hit some more peaks I just haven't gotten to yet. Playing is all uniformly good.

Οὖτις, Friday, 30 October 2015 21:58 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Superb UK debut tonight at the Barbican; just seven performers, until K's dad Ricky Washington joined in on flute for the last few songs.

He's cancelled Paris tomorrow (Sunday), so has just added an extra date at London Scala - http://scala.co.uk/events/kamasi-washington/ - highly recommended.

mike t-diva, Saturday, 14 November 2015 23:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Video footage of last night's London show still streaming at https://boilerroom.tv/session/kamasi-washington-live-from-the-barbican-at-the-efg-london-jazz-festival/

mike t-diva, Sunday, 15 November 2015 09:42 (one year ago) Permalink

...also some audio here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p034hxyg

mike t-diva, Sunday, 15 November 2015 09:43 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

okay, i'll quit posting this everywhere but: free NYC show this summer
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/19/kamasi-washington-jazz-summerstage/

ulysses, Friday, 19 February 2016 18:04 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

feeling pretty lucky! I am going to see him play tonight at the new Blue Note that just opened in Waikiki :D

davey, Monday, 14 March 2016 20:15 (one year ago) Permalink

The last part of the sentence should be enough to make you feel that way.

Evan, Monday, 14 March 2016 21:08 (one year ago) Permalink

True dat. Waikiki has been lacking decent places to hear music, so Blue Note opening is v welcome.

davey, Monday, 14 March 2016 21:24 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, yeah that too. Lots of good things in the sentence.

Evan, Monday, 14 March 2016 21:25 (one year ago) Permalink

Yee :)

davey, Monday, 14 March 2016 21:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Got damn does his band kill it live! Listening to The Epic a few times did not prepare me.

davey, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 22:14 (one year ago) Permalink

got tix to see him at the montreal Jazz Fest, super pumped

flopson, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 22:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Got damn does his band kill it live! Listening to The Epic a few times did not prepare me.

― davey, Tuesday, March 15, 2016 5:14 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah honestly i hope they are recording some dates over this last year's touring, would love a live album

robbie ca$hflo (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 March 2016 16:19 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i have really been getting into this album lately

marcos, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 13:51 (one year ago) Permalink

surprisingly i am finding the vocal stuff to be some of the most engaging work on here.. henrietta, the malcom x song, cherokee

marcos, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 13:52 (one year ago) Permalink

and clair de lune is so gorgeous, what an amazing piece

marcos, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 13:56 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah, it's the vocal tracks I tend to turn to most. I usually hate vocal jazz, but those are the highlights. The Rhythm Changes is also gorgeous.

TARANTINO! (dog latin), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:01 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

saw him last night

amazing show. first jazz show i've seen not at a jazz bar and also first fusion jazz show i've ever been to

only thing i didn't like was two drummers... they did some cool stuff with it but it was overall just dumb. plus it was at a big venue so obviously they mic'd the kick so it sounded beefy and cheezy as hell

de l'asshole (flopson), Tuesday, 21 June 2016 22:51 (one year ago) Permalink

Anybody go to the Central Park show? I thought about it, but ultimately didn't.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:01 (one year ago) Permalink

Going to see him tomorrow!

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:07 (one year ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

good stuff, guy't got style

niels, Thursday, 20 April 2017 09:03 (three months ago) Permalink

guy's....

niels, Thursday, 20 April 2017 09:04 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

The Axelrod vibe that someone mentions upthread is very evident on Truth, I think. There's a Wrecking Crew feel to the playing; when the strings come in at about 9 min it could be a Glenn Campbell session.

mahb, Wednesday, 28 June 2017 11:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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