3AM Eternal: Kamasi Washington “Re Run Home” (2015)

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Okay, we don’t really talk about contemporary music here at The Recoup, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy talking about it. In fact, I’ve been trying to find a way to bring this fellow up in conversation here for some time, and going free-form finally allows me the ability to do so. Kamarsi Washington’s been a session musician for quite some time, but he’s decided to go all George Harrison on us with his solo debut, the aptly-titled The Epic—a triumphant, three-disc, nearly three hour affair of straight-up, drop-dead, balls-out, hands-down perfect collection of modern jazz i’ve ever heard.

At this point in music history, what does a comparison to John Coltrane even mean? He’s a reference point, but what makes this such a powerful record is this: these sorts of sounds were being made fifty years ago, and it was considered experimental back then. A half-century later, those “experimental” sounds are now called “traditional.” Yes, there’s a definite jazz legacy at play here, but what matters is that doesn’t really matter. The Epic is enjoyable on its own merit, and is easily one of the best albums of the year, no matter if you’re a muso or simply an occasional jazz listener. 

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