8. Kamasi Washington – The Epic


I have seen quite an interesting debate occur around this album. On the one hand, people are thanking Kamasi Washington for “saving jazz” and crediting him single handily with making the masses care about the genre again. People are falling so head over heels for Washington, it’s as if he recreated the genre even though there has been plenty of jazz since John Coltrane, it has not been dormant at all. On the other side there are plenty of jazz fanatics who are furious that Washington is being heaped with all of this praise when he really is just doing the same thing most of the genre has been for the past 15 years. I myself am guilty of not really partaking in jazz listening as much as I should and I too got swept up in the hype of The Epic once it became known how much of a part Washington played in To Pimp A Butterfly. I thought it was awesome someone who was friends with Kendrick Lamar would release a 3 hour jazz album full of music that I really had not fully listened to since I was in a jazz band in middle school. As the criticisms started though, I tried to reach out and listen to more jazz from the Vijay Iyer trio to Robert Glasper. I personally see nothing wrong with loving Washington for what he did simply because people were not listening to jazz and if what it took was Kendrick Lamar to highlight someone to make people care again so be it. I can’t write this review without being completely honest though; I gave in to the hype. I just think not only was the hype warranted but also necessary to attempt to save a genre that really has died, at least in the public eye. He may be getting a lot of undue credit, but at least someone is being credited now instead of the entirety of jazz being ignored.


About J.STOR

Music= Lyf
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