As The Jazz Line points out, “According to the Nielsen’s 2014 Year-End Report, jazz is continuing to fall out of favor with American listeners and has tied with classical music as the least-consumed music in the U.S., after children’s music.” Ain’t that a shame. Similar to other genres we commit ourselves to covering, some of the most progressive and forward-thinking strains of contemporary jazz are being released on independent labels, divorced from mass-earning markets of the mainstream. Take Kamasi Washington for instace, the tenor saxophonist and arranger who has worked extensively with artists like Flying Lotus, Broken Bells, and Snoop Dogg. Washington’s forthcoming Brainfeeder debut, The Epic, is dense, mesmeric jazz in its most enthralling form.
The lead single shared in anticipation of The Epic, “Re Run Home,” was written, arranged and produced by Kamasi Washington, but he’s supported throughout the album by an all-star cast of virtuoso musicians like Stephen Brunner (Thundercat) on bass duties and Cameron Graves on piano. The track is a sprawling, 14-minute jam utterly defined by the musicians’ senselessly spontaneous synchronization, their ability to break form and perpetuate verve with reckless abandon. The Epic will be released on May 4. Watch the artist perform as the Kamasi Washington Group below.