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Review: Kamasi Washington embarks on a new spiritual journey

One of today’s most significant jazz musicians recently stopped by California to present his latest studio album, “Fearless Movement”.

Review: Kamasi Washington embarks on a new spiritual journey

San Diego, California.- One of today’s most significant jazz musicians, Kamasi Washington, recently stopped by California to present his latest studio album, “Fearless Movement,” released in early May. On Sunday night, he performed at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, showcasing his remarkable musical talents.

The evening began with Fela Kuti’s “Expensive Shit” playing over the speakers, setting the stage for the Los Angeles-based musician’s entrance with “Lesanu,” the opening track of “Fearless Movement.” Washington elevated the energy with a free jazz-inspired saxophone solo reminiscent of Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman.

Foto: Abdiel Ortega

Washington tours with his family, including his father, Rickey Washington, who plays the soprano saxophone and flute. His 2-year-old daughter was also present in spirit through “Asha The First,” a piece inspired by a melody she created while playing on a piano.

Foto: Abdiel Ortega

“Asha The First” marked one of the night’s highlights, featuring another powerful and structured saxophone solo. In the studio version, this piece includes contributions from his childhood friend, bassist Thundercat, and an ensemble of rappers.

Foto: Abdiel Ortega

In “Computer Love,” originally by Zapp, vocalist Patrice Quinn stood out with her intimate voice and theatrical movements, hallmarks of her performance style. Southern California local legend DJ Battlecat also had his moment on the console and talk box. In a rare move during his performances, Washington handed the stage over to Battlecat to mix “Get Lit,” co-written with the legendary George Clinton.

Foto: Abdiel Ortega

The sensuality of the night peaked with “Together,” a soul piece composed by trombonist Ryan Porter, a frequent collaborator of Washington. Following an intense solo, Porter appeared to lose his breath momentarily. Among the audience was Washington’s wife, celebrating her birthday, to whom he dedicated the evening.

The session concluded with “Interstellar Peace (The Last Stance),” “Lines in the Sand,” and “Prologue.” After visiting several U.S. cities, including the Newport Jazz Festival, Kamasi will cross the Atlantic to tour European capitals from October to November.

Foto: Abdiel Ortega

“We are all born elastic, and if you don’t use it, you lose it” is the message Washington conveys in his new album. Fearlessly, Washington continues to move between genres to maintain his elasticity, encouraging us to do the same.

Foto: Abdiel Ortega

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