Saxophonist Kamasi Washington has received, over the past three years, more praise and adoration than any other in the realm of jazz and of its orbiting offsprings. The mainstream media darling is now subject to a true cult following in response to his critically-acclaimed Brainfeeder debut The Epic. But if we don’t count last year’s six-track, thirty minute EP Harmony of Difference, Washington has been on a three-year album release hiatus, most likely because the renegade saxophonist likes to do things on a grander and more grandiose scale than most. But as all good things must come to an end, Washington has reemerged this week on social media to announce a new studio album entitled Heaven and Earth slated for a June 22nd release on UK label Young Turks.
In his own words, Washington says of the project: “The Earth side represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me.”
Two one minute teaser videos have now been released for the songs “Space Travelers Lullaby” and “Fists of Fury”, the theme song from the classic kung-fu movie of the same name. You can watch both below. The visuals are by director Jenn Nkiru who is scheduled to release a film project to accompany Heaven and Earth later this year. Also rumored on the LP and sure to please serious jazz aficionados is a new arrangement by Washington of Freddie Hubbard’s “Hubtones”.
Washington will be premiering the music from Heaven and Earth this Sunday at Coachella, because as I mentioned it above: “the renegade saxophonist likes to do things on a grander and more grandiose scale than most.”
The new album by Kamasi Washington, Heaven and Earth, is available to pre-order now on the Young Turks website and features over two and a half hours of music on four vinyls or two CDs. Did we mention how spectacular the artwork is? This is one we might just have to purchase for our own private collection…