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The Epic  / Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington - The Epic

Brainfeeder

The aptly titled "The Epic" is the debut from thirty four year old tenor Saxophonist Kamasi Washington. Kamasi has been part of the burgeoning Los Angeles  jazz scene for a number of years and has finally taken a break from performing to compose a stunning body of work. The triple lp is rooted in Jazz while fusing rnb and funk. He's also complimented by a large orchestral ensemble and his working band The West Coast Get Down. There's much to savor here starting with "Change Of The Guard", an explosive tune highlighted by Kamasi's spirited soloing and the melodic phrasings from the 20 piece choir. "Final Thought" kicks off with a smoothing gospel tinged organ riff before shifting into an explosive spiritual tune. Fellow LA residents Dwight Trible lends his spirited vocal phrasings to "Malcolm's Theme" and Thundercat lays down some stimulating bass licks on "The Message". Overall "The Epic" is a triumph filled with nearly three hours of spiritual inspiring compositions and superb performances. This is a great introduction to the talented Saxophonist and to a record that is easily one of the best of the year.

Reg Dancy, 07/15