The Epic

Episode 313: Harmony Of Difference - Kamasi Washington

Episode 313: Harmony Of Difference - Kamasi Washington

Bolstered by the success of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and his own, uh, epic 2015 release, The Epic, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, along with the rest of The West Coast Get Down have spent the past few years popularizing jazz to a whole new generation of fans. On Harmony Of Difference, Washington is digging deep and exploring smaller themes like the meaning of life and our place in the universe. Kevin and Marcus K. Dowling (Decades, Capitol Wrestling) sit down to discuss Kamasi's latest masterpiece and consider a few universal truths of their own.

PLUS! Aaron "Ab" Abernathy's new album Dialogue, is a potent statement about the state of America today as seen through Abernathy's unique perspective, and is one of the best, and most important albums of 2017. We've got a listen to one of its highlights, "Generation," which is sure to be a rallying cry for the struggles in this "new" America for years to come.


Kamasi Washington @ The Howard Theatre - 8/26/15

Kamasi Washington @ The Howard Theatre - 8/26/15

On Wednesday morning at approximately 6:45 AM Bryce Williams (Vester Flanagan) murdered Alison Parker and Adam Ward during a live television broadcast. He filmed the shootings and shared the video with the world before taking his own life.

On Wednesday evening at approximately 9:30 PM Kamasi Washington and his band began their set in front of a packed house at the Howard Theater.

These events were not connected. They were separated by 190 miles and 15 hours. That is a world of distance; an ocean of time. Yet these events were inextricably linked.

When tragedies play out on camera and are spread in real time through the media, we all become witnesses. Our national and local psyches are indelibly wounded by these all too common eruptions of violence. Charleston. Sandy Hook.  Virginia Tech. Minneapolis.  By some counts, more than one mass shooting a day in 2015. More incidents than we can remember, more victims than we can effectively process. Every person in that audience that watched the news, followed the events on social media, or (god forbid) saw the actual video was affected as part of the larger, extended community.

By the time Kamasi Washington took the stage, the familiar pattern of action and reaction had taken hold. The same debates about mental health and gun control, the same longform reaction pieces, the same accusations of “politicization” from all sides, the same feeling that this event, like the ones that came before, would change nothing. That our crippling national inertia would continue.