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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kamasi Washington: Heaven & Earth

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Taking inspiration from his 2017 release Harmony Of Difference, Kamasi Washington has once again employed the use of strings and choir on this gargantuan release. The sonic augmentation has the effect of rendering many of the tracks like a cross between John Coltrane and Carl Orff or perhaps Sun Ra and Sir Karl Jenkins. Granted there's been a terrific amount of hype surrounding Heaven And Earth but there is justification for this inasmuch as the whole work delivers ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kamasi Washington: Harmony of Difference

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Being lauded as the “saviour of jazz" would weigh heavy on the shoulders of any young artist, even one so confident as to release a 170 minute treble CD as their 2015 debut. Yet Kamasi Washington pulled it off on the appropriately titled The Epic, with its ambitious, eclectic subject matter and surface similarities to spiritual jazz greats like Pharoah Sanders. Those that stuck with it were rewarded with an album that seemed to inhabit its own niche or world, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2017

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The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Burlington, Vermont June 2-11, 2017 With multiple popup shows and one on the roof of a local parking garage, in addition to the usual plethora of musical offerings up down and around Church Street at the center of the city, The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival has never seemed more like a merry go round than in 2017.And that's meant as high compliment because each passing day of the ten ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kamasi Washington & The Next Step at Michigan Theater

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Kamasi Washington & The Next Step Michigan Theater Ann Arbor, Michigan September 30, 2016 Much hoopla has surrounded the ascension of saxophonist Kamasi Washington most recently spurred on by his debut recording, The Epic. A motherlode of jazz sorcery, this audacious packaging of almost three hours of music seems to have spoken to a whole new generation of young people who have probably never even heard of Miles or Coltrane. Either smart marketing, bold musicianship, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2016

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TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Ottawa, Canada June 22 -July 3, 2016 It's hard to believe, with seasons that move quickly from spring into summer, that it was time, once again, for the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. Now in its 36th year, the festival has grown from a weekend event into a full-blown, 12-day festival with a broad cross-section of artists from around the world. The past few years have seen further growth, with the introduction of ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Mark F. Turner's Best of 2015

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The number of artists that continue to produce quality jazz is not slowing and that's a beautiful thing. It's becoming more difficult to differentiate between so many varied releases but here are few that stood out in 2015. Kamasi Washington The Epic (Brainfeeder) Straight-ahead, hard swinging and Afrocentric, Los Angeles based composer/saxophonist Kamasi Washington delivers an epic adventure with his 172 minute opus that includes a jazz ensemble, choir, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kamasi Washington: The Epic

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Kamasi Washington's masterwork The Epic showcases an incisive saxophonist/composer who has performed with jazz luminaries Gerald Wilson and Herbie Hancock but is probably better known for his work with creatives outside of jazz--Grammy winning electronic musician/producer Steven Ellison aka Flying Lotus (grand-nephew of Alice Coltrane); rising Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar and Steven Bruner aka Thundercat who is one of the best electronic bassists in any music genre. Washington's intrepid concepts are in full force in this auspicious ...