The first new music from cosmic jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington since his much lauded 'The Epic'. This follow up also seems to be epic despite it's short length being a six part suite exploring the musical technique known as 'counterpoint'. There are 5 unique components which when blended create a sixth track. Clever lad.
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It’s rare perhaps, but on occasion, we’re a little late with the reviews, and we’re all caught up with everything now (I think), but here he finally is! The man, the myth, the colossus of cosmic jazz: Kamaaaaasssiiii (brass fanfare please) Wash-ing-ton! It’s been (roughly) two years and six months since the re-defining of the cosmos that was the multi-disc-ed ‘The Epic’... And now -- in a little niche gathering dust by Phil’s desk, behind the printer, Clint has just discovered it -- a test press copy, no less -- of the new K-Wash (mini) album, Harmony of Difference.
Harmony of Difference, then: not *quite* so far-reaching into the galaxy as the aforementioned box set, the record sees Kamasi and his family traverse our skylines, enter the stratospheres with that first chorus; encircling the globe -- then journeying ‘round this big ol’ rock of ours one more time for good measure, breathing in and easing out the feelings, emotions and qualities that define us and unite us as human beings, namely [/track-list-begins] Desire - Humility - Knowledge - Perspective - Integrity - then closing the circle with Truth [/track-list-ends]. That’s quite some jazz journey.
Things really kick into gear with the swinging grooves of ‘Humility’, the piano taking flight while trumpet provides the grounding courtesy of Mr Washington Senior; at which point Washington Junior pushes a mighty cascade of notes through his sax -- no doubt turning that peculiar shade of purple, as witnessed by enthralled and sweaty crowds, up and down this land recently -- in the process. More of the sublime trumpet on ‘Knowledge’, soulful rhythms on ‘Perspective’ and the latin swaying of ‘Integrity’; the track ending on a contemplative, muted horn allowing us a bit of time and space before flipping over… and drinking in ‘Truth’ -- which takes up the entirety of side B. It’s rightly a staple of his live shows and features those gorgeous repeated harmonies cycling with bittersweet strings for full emotional impact. An end of night tear-jerker, for sure... Oh, the feels. And it'll do nicely until the next instalment. Got ears? Got eyes? Crazy!
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- Harmony of Difference by Kamasi Washington
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