Kamasi Washington's Heaven And Earth Is A Jazz Masterpiece

Music Discovery With Kamasi Washington


Kamasi Washington is epic. In sound, in style, and substance. Photo credit: Durimel

It’s Kamasi Washington’s universe. And you’re just listening in. Just out with Heaven And Earth, a nearly three hour jazz opus, Kamasi Washington makes music for the indie fan, the jazz purist, and everyone in between. Heaven And Earth features the single “Street Fighter Mas”, playing now on The Colorado Sound.

“Street Fighter Mas” is a jazz hybrid – melding Miles Davis-like fusion with gospel-like backing vocals. It’s also an ode to one of the coolest video games of all time.

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For those new to Kamasi Washington, there’s a good chance you’ve come across his work even if you haven’t quite known. He made a splash in 2015 with The Epic, another extremely long player (172 minutes) that combined hip-hop beats, classical music, and R&B with incredible dexterity. He’s collaborated with other musicians, adding real texture to the work of Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run the Jewels, and more.

Heaven And Earth is a bit of a concept album. Split into an Earth section, and a Heaven section, the two sides have very distinct personalities. “The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of,” Washington explained in a press release leading up to the album. “The Heaven side of this album represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me. Who I am and the choices I make lie somewhere in between.” 

Washington will be bringing the sounds to Colorado this fall. Three shows are planned in October – at the Belly Up Aspen, Ogden Theatre, and Boulder Theater.