It’s been a hell of a few weeks for music. New releases from Future Islands, Joey Bada$$, Actress, Arca and Kendrick Lamar have all made major waves, and towards the end of last week one of the biggest names coming up in the LA jazz scene decided it was his turn.
Kamasi Washington came to the world’s attention when he was credited on K Dot’s last album – To Pimp a Butterfly. After that, he released an album which was consistently voted one of the best of 2015 – The Epic. It was intended to be the first in a series of albums all recorded at the same time, each with a different member of the core band (named The West Coast Get Down) running things.
We’ve only had three so far, the aforementioned, Miles Mosley’s Uprising and pianist Cameron Graves’ solo effort Planetary Prince (although it’s unclear if that actually counts). In the mean time though, Washington is bringing out a new EP.
Called Harmony of Difference, it’s based on a multimedia display of same name which is currently up at the Whitney Museum, having been premiered there during the recent Biennial. ‘Truth’ is the last of the six movements, and now it’s on YouTube and Spotify. Accompanying it is a video directed by AJ Rojas, who was also responsible for the shocking, breathless video for Run the Jewels’ ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck). The video itself is entitled ‘Harmony of Difference’ as well.
It’s a long track, at almost 14 minutes, but it’s well worth your full attention. It’s the same kind of rising, string and choir laden fare Washington introduced us to on The Epic, but in the best possible sense and the visuals are just astonishing. Don’t ask me what it all means, I couldn’t tell you, but themes of, well, harmony run throughout, as well as equality and the broad spread of life in Los Angeles.
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