Modern saxophone colossus Kamasi Washington brought his unbridled brand of jazz to NPR‘s World Cafe Tuesday, performing three tracks while backed by an eight-piece band pulled from his extensive personal network of West Coast jazz luminaries.

The video above features only a portion of the performance, but thankfully the entire session was preserved on audio, which you can listen to below. In it, Washington improvises as he can, painting horn lines both free and baroquely structured over the unending churn of his own compositions come to life. This is structure without stricture, an exercise in controlled chance and searching, essential musicianship. If anyone out there was waiting for a wake-up-call, this is it: Kamasi Washington is here and our scene is so much better for it.


“Henrietta Our Hero”
“Re Run Home”

There are still two dates left on Washington’s current tour: September 24th at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO, and September 25th at The State Room in Salt Lake City. If you happen to be in one of those Western cities, do yourself a favor and witness The Epic in action. Somehow a three-LP unhinged jazz, well, epic has become the hottest record of the year. We couldn’t be more pleased.


Post Your Comment
We will never send yoiu spam or publish or share your email information.