The Epic Success of Kamasi Washington’s Album

Saxosophonist, composer and bandleader Kamasi Washington is the most talked about musician on the scene currently, by the critics considered “a most important appearance in jazz in the past few years, if not decades.”

His first studio album The Epic was released this May and is already featured on numerous charts listings with most important albums of 2015. For a debut, this is an unusual release with 17 compositions on 3 CDs and a duration of 3 hours. The album is starring following guests: 32-piece orchestra, a 20-voice choir and 8 members of the West Coast Get Down collective – the Wu-Tang Clan of jazz, Washington has been a member of since the beginning of his career.

The success of Kamasi Washington seems very likely if we bare in mind that this is a musician who has been an active part on the scene for more then 10 years, who arranged the million selling album of rap star Kendrick Lamar, with one of his first professional engagements as a musician being in the band of Snoop Dogg, and later in the bands of Raphael Saadiq and Laurin Hill. He has also performed with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and George Duke.

Kamasi Washington has succeeded in making experimental improvised music that sounds both contemporary and relevant, but also attractive to younger listeners – without changing its essential jazziness.

Listen to the composition The Message from The Epic.

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