Video still from 'Truth'

New jazz from Kamasi Washington gets artfilm treatment

Text Gary Chun
Thread music

Lost in the anticipation of the release of Kendrick Lamar's new album, fellow L.A. collaborator and musician Kamasi Washington announced the upcoming release of an EP titled "Harmony of Difference." It's great that new music from the saxophonist/composer is coming soon, on the heels of his 2015 debut, the appropriately named "The Epic," and one of our favorite albums of that year.

What makes this especially notable is that the finale of the six-movement suite, "Truth," is the soundtrack for a moving short by noted filmmaker A.G. Rojas, who has made videos for rap acts Earl Sweatshirt and Run the Jewels.

Rojas' film is part of the current biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and both in the visual and aural aspects of its presentation, it's a perfect union of a multicultural expression of spirituality and hope. Washington continues to work in the expansive big-band format, augmented at times by strings and vocal choir.

The abstract paintings by his sister Amani are part of the exhibit's presentation.

In an interview with the New York Times, Washington says “With our political climate right now, there’s just so much focus on the negative aspect of our diversity. I thought it was ironic that we look at it as this problem that we have to solve, when it’s really a gift.”

So sit back, put in your earbuds and let the "Truth" wash over you.


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