Last Call Review: Kamasi Washington/Heaven And Earth /Young Turks

Aug 4, 2018

This new release from Kamasi Washington is even more focused and spiritually empowered than his first multidisc set, which is a miraculous achievement. The Los Angeles based saxophonist, bandleader and sideman in previous years for Wide Hive Records has shown that he can do it.

Washington leads the band on two seperate discs that contrast each other in their portrains of internal and external worlds, with an ensemble of players that include some of the artists who appeared on his debut recording, in addition new players and a choral section.

As the bandleader puts it: “The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind. This idea inspired me to make this album Heaven and Earth. The reality we experience is a mere creation of our consciousness, but our consciousness creates this reality based on those very same experiences. We are simultaneously the creators of our personal universe and creations of our personal universe. The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. 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.”

Highlights of this soulful, inspired and animated session include the opener "Fists of Fury", a cover of the theme song from the Bruce Lee film “Fist of Fury". The ensemble presents a demanding, fiery musical statment with an outstanding front line of vocalists including Patrice Quinn and Dwight Trible. Other highlights include a relentless performance of  Freddie Hubbard’s “Hub-Tones” featuring trumpeter Dontae Winslow; the exceptional "Tiffakonkae" which presents saxophonist Terrace Martin; and a lovely ensemble piece, "The Space Travelers Lullaby", which takes this listener into heavenly realms of peace.   

Throughout the session Kamasi Washington performs at the peak of his abilities on the saxophone, leading the band with a totally self-assured voice on the instrument. And the result is a story that unfolds with deep conviction, power and authority. Highly recommended!

The artist's website is

From the archives: Listen to an interview with Kamasi Washington.