Kamasi Washington, the man making jazz cool again, has a new EP out this fall. Harmony Of Difference, available September 29th via Young Turks, will surely not disappoint. Appreciators of art and fans of music gazed in a rare harmonious awe as Kamasi’s six-part EP played against the stunning video work of A.G. Rojas, and visual art of Washington’s sister, Amani, at this year’s Whitney Biennial. While art lovers and music lovers exchanged information about the artists in each of their realms, the beautiful symbiosis roared on. The video for “Truth” can be watched here.
A lot of people, when they think of jazz, probably think of a trumpet solo in its third or fourth chorus, a saxophone player in need of fresh air, or a drummer who thinks the most emphatic hits are the ones not played at all. Maybe to some it just sounds like a drudged up scramble of dissonant tones and ancient instruments. Somehow, we forget the fleeting warble in the chorus of Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice,” and remember him only as that guy who played fast and hard, who ate a lot of candy.
Some might say jazz is hard to listen to. It’s not for everyone. Kamasi Washington is for everyone. Washington does for jazz music what Nirvana did for punk. He does the genre a favor by pulling it towards the mainstream. He makes it digestible and fun to listen to. Older jazz can be ‘hard’ to listen to in the same way that Herman Melville is harder to read than John Grisham. Washington fits into music the way Junot Diaz fits into literature. You can feel the beauty and intelligence of their art without having to struggle for it. It is not insider art, but art for everyone.
The vinyl edition of Washington’s EP contains a fourteen page booklet of Amani’s art and stills from Rojas’ film. Washington’s aspirations for the album are simple and pure.
“My hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.”
Harmony of Difference EP:
Photography Credit: Mauricio Alvarado