Saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington, 34, has been working on
releasing his now three-CD, nearly three-hour,
choir-and-strings-assisted album The Epic for the better part of five
years now. Even longer, if you consider how long his 10-piece working
band has known each other: Most of its members, known collectively as
The Next Step or The West Coast Get Down, have known each other since at
least high school decades ago in South Central Los Angeles, and in some
instances well before that. Even as their diverse careers have made it
difficult to focus exclusively on this band — Washington is, for
instance, the saxophone player heard on the new Flying Lotus and
Kendrick Lamar albums — they’ve all continually committed to
experimenting with a brand of jazz that resonates with their own
generation’s lived experience.
Jazz Night In America features
Kamasi Washington and the music of The Epic at its release party, and in
its full glory. From the Regent Theater in Downtown L.A., Washington
presents his new album with his working band, a choir, a string section
and plenty of special guests.
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