The Epic (album)

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The Epic
Kamasi Washington The Epic.jpg
Studio album by Kamasi Washington
Released May 5, 2015 (2015-05-05)
Studio Kingsize Soundlabs
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre Jazz
Length 173:36
Label Brainfeeder
Producer Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington chronology
Light of The World
(2008)Light of The World2008
The Epic
(2015)
Harmony of Difference
(2017)Harmony of Difference2017
Singles from The Epic
  1. "Re Run Home"
    Released: March 10, 2015
  2. "Miss Understanding"
    Released: April 8, 2015

The Epic is the fourth studio album by American jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington. It was released on May 5, 2015, through the Brainfeeder record label.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic83/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Drowned in Sound8/10[3]
The Guardian4/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork8.6/10[5]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[6]

Upon its release, The Epic received positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 83, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 7 reviews.[1] AllMusic critic Thom Jurek described the album as "21st century jazz as accessible as it is virtuosic -- feel matters to Washington," and further wrote: "Holistic in breadth and deep in vision, it provides a way into this music for many, and challenges the cultural conversation about jazz without compromising or pandering."[2] Russell Warfield of Drowned in Sound described the album as "wonderful stuff," further stating that the record "deserves a high score by any standards of evaluation."[3]

The Guardian critic John Fordham, who was positive in his assessment of the album, wrote: "Only a shortage of thematic surprises – given its extravagant length – keeps it from being quite the seismically jazz-changing departure that some admirers are claiming."[4] Seth Colter Walls of Pitchfork awarded the album with "Best New Music" tag, stating: "The Epic actually makes good on its titular promise without bothering to make even a faint-hearted stab in the direction of fulfilling its pre-release hype."[5]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
The Guardian The Best Albums of 2015 2015
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2015 2015
10[8]
Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2015 2015
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2015 2015

Track listing[edit]

CD[edit]

All tracks written by Kamasi Washington, except where noted.

Volume 1: The Plan
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Change of the Guard" 12:15
2."Askim" 12:34
3."Isabelle" 12:12
4."Final Thought" 6:31
5."The Next Step" 14:48
6."The Rhythm Changes"
  • Patrice Quinn
  • Washington
7:45
Total length:66:05
Volume 2: The Glorious Tale
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Miss Understanding" 8:46
2."Leroy and Lanisha" 9:24
3."Re Run" 8:19
4."Seven Prayers" 7:35
5."Henrietta Our Hero"
  • Quinn
  • Washington
7:13
6."The Magnificent 7" 12:48
Total length:54:05
Volume 3: The Historic Repetition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Re Run Home" 14:06
2."Cherokee"Ray Noble8:14
3."Clair de Lune"Claude Debussy11:07
4."Malcolm's Theme"8:40
5."The Message" 11:11
Total length:53:18

Personnel[edit]

  • Kamasi Washington — tenor saxophone, band leader
  • Miles Mosley — acoustic bass
  • Ronald Bruner, Jr. — drums
  • Tony Austin — drums
  • Thundercat — electric bass
  • Brandon Coleman — keyboards
  • Dwight Trible — lead vocals
  • Patrice Quinn — lead vocals
  • Leon Mobley — percussion
  • Cameron Graves — piano
  • Ricky Washington — soprano saxophone
  • Ryan Porter — trombone
  • Igmar Thomas — trumpet

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (2015) Peak
position
US Billboard Heatseekers[11] 6
US Billboard Independent Albums[12] 18
US Billboard Jazz Albums[13] 3

In November 2015, the album reached gold status in Germany.

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[14] 145

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Epic by Kamasi Washington". Metacritic. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Kamasi Washington - The Epic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Warfield, Russell (May 5, 2015). "Kamasi Washington- The Epic". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Fordham, John (June 18, 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic review – a spectacular new jazz odyssey". The Guardian. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Walls, Seth Colter (May 8, 2015). "Kamasi Washington - The Epic". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ Hermes, Will (June 2, 2015). "The Epic". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Pitchfork. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Albums of the Year 2015". roughtrade.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  10. ^ "The 50 Best Albums Of 2015". stereogum.com. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  11. ^ "Kamasi Washington- Heatseekers chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Kamasi Washington- Independent Albums chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Kamasi Washington - Jazz Albums chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2016 Albums". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 

External links[edit]