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Kamasi Washington's "The Epic" - Jazz Album of Year???

Discussion in 'Music' started by ralphp@optonline, Apr 25, 2015.
  1. ralphp@optonline
    Okay so it's only late April but Kamasi Washington's "The Epic" is thus far the front runner (and by a wide, wide margin) for jazz album of 2015. This epic (no pun intended) three CD release by the LA based tenor saxophonist and composer is filled with music that spans the entire history of modern jazz.
     
    The first thing that grabs one's attention is Washington's great compositional sense with each song telling a musicial story in the best jazz sense. Starting with a carefully laid out melody statement each song then transistions to a long series of overlapping solos only to return at the end to the melody. Along the way the songs feature great playing by Washington's core ten piece group, West Coast Get Down, with many of the songs also featuring a 32-piece orchestra and a 20-person choir.
     
    Washington's tenor playing is remenisant of Coltrane's spiritual style of playing but fortunately Washington's musical skills are strong enough to make his sound his own. The rest of the core also shines with the two drummers (Tony Austin (right side) & Ronald Bruner (left side)), two brass players (Ryan Porter - trombone & Igmar Thomas - trumpet), two bass players (Miles Mosley - acoustic bass & Stephen Bruner - electric bass), an excellent piano player (Cameron Graves) and a seperate keyboard player (Brandon Coleman). In spite of the large ensemble the sound is full and clear and does not overwhelm. The use of the orchestra and choir is tastefully done and enhances, rather than detracts from, the music.
     
    Here's a blog post about "The Epic": http://soundcolourvibration.com/2015/03/18/the-evolution-of-jazz-in-present-times-kamasi-washington-announces-3-disc-debut-lp-for-brainfeeder-the-epic-music-news/
     
    Instead of trying to describe in words the sound of the wonderful music here are few sample to give you a taste of what has me so excited:
     

     

     
    As always - Enjoy responsibly!
     
  2. jobyjoby
    In the past four months or so I've been on a huge jazz binge, listening to as much of it as possible, learning as much as I can... A professor of mine who recently passed, was a jazz freak and an insanely talented jazz pianist. I had the pleasure of hearing him play several times and it was like nothing I ever heard (i know now that he had taken a lot of his influence from Thelonious Monk). Since his passing, I've been on a mission to hear and discover the sounds he would make and their roots in the history and music of jazz he loved so much. Four months later, I'm hooked. Reading the History of Jazz, Thelonious Monk's biography, and listening to anything and everything I can get my hands on. 
     
    The Epic by Kamasi Washington feels like an album for falling in love with jazz--for the first time, or all over again. Have listened a few times now all the way through uninterrupted and it never gets old, at no point does it become tired or difficult, and spans such a huge breadth of emotion and movement... really some good stuff.
     
  3. ralphp@optonline

    Glad to hear that you're enjoying this recording. I still think that it will turn out one of the best jazz releases of 2015, if not the BEST jazz release of 2015.
     
  4. jobyjoby
    what others would you say are in the running? 
     
  5. Leviticus
    Have the 24bit version of this album and was blown away the first time I listened to this masterpiece. Can only recommend this album!
     
  6. headfry
    I'm listening to it on Tidal and it brings me back to the most immersive musical enjoyment -
    like my favourite albums of all time! Highly Recommended!!!
     
  7. aphex27
    It's a shame it's recorded so poorly..
     
  8. Raketen
    Seeing this on EVERYBODYs top albums lists, really need to check it out.
     
    For me, Rudresh Mahanthappa 'Bird Calls' [​IMG]
     
  9. headfry
    Although it could have been somewhat better recorded, it's still an immensely enjoyable album...
    reminds me of some of my favourite recordings of the 70's (there's a 70's sound that
    can be VERY enjoyable!)
     
  10. headfry
    ..am listening again and if you have a streaming service and love great music, try Kamasi Washington's masterpiece now.....The Epic.....I find this a wonderful
    recording and especially original, fresh, vitalized, hyper-focused and composed jazz fusion!  IT WILL SATISFY many a music lover! ...try it!
     

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