Arts & Culture

Kamasi Washington: The Groove is Out of This World

Saxophonist, band leader, and musical savant Kamasi Washington released a new track this week called “The Garden Path.” He just debuted the song with a fourteen piece ensemble on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Performing alongside him on stage, and on the track are a few of his long-time collaborators such as Miles Mosley on bass, Brandon Coleman on the keyboards and talk box, Ronald Bruner Jr. on drums, Cameron Graves on grand piano and Allakoi Peete on percussion, among others!

The track builds with intensity from the very beginning- the groove is pumping and you can really feel the gusto of each performer. Kamasi lays down a searing saxophone solo on top of a bedrock of percussion and bass. His playing is reminiscent of one of my personal favorite saxophone players, Pharoah Sanders. Kamasi makes his instrument emit shrills and growls that roar and dominate the track! The playing is emotive and moving, and something I truly admire about him and his band is just how raw and beautiful they sound on record as they do live!

Credit: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Youtube

He released an official statement with the track saying “The world feels turned upside down. There’s so much push and pull in every direction, from everyone you meet—no one knows what to think, who to believe, or how to approach life right now. No matter how smart you are, it’s hard not to feel blind.”

I saw the group play the State Theater in 2019 and let me say to the reader, what an absolute blast of an experience. The audience intensely followed their performance from the somber lows, to joyous, passionate highs. To this day, it was one of the most emotionally intense performances I’ve ever seen. It blows the punk and metal bands I’ve seen out of the water in terms of pure intense expression- and it sounded gorgeous and highly melodic at the same time.

If you want to expand your mind and feel some groove then I highly recommend listening to this track, along with everything else he has ever put out. He truly is reviving jazz and is a bright light in that world. I would like to remind the reader to please support live music! If you see him on a bill anywhere go and enjoy!

Categories: Arts & Culture

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