Kamasi Washington - The Epic
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2015 Ratings: #12 / 977
Year End Rank: #16
User Score
Based on 650 ratings
2015 Ratings: #13
Liked by 33 people
Sign In to rate and review



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.

The Needle Drop
Running just short of three hours in length, this new Kamasi Washington album lives up to its name.

What The Epic does come to sound like, over the course of its significant running time, is a generational intervention—an educational tool that widens the definition of styles that fall under "jazz classicism."

Drowned in Sound

This is wonderful stuff ... Whether you absorb it song by song, disc by disc, or as one huge suite, Washington is reaching for the epic on every scale.

The Guardian

Dedicated to bringing jazz to the uninitiated, Epic features soul and gospel vocals, boiling drumming, swing, funk, and voicelike free-jazz blowing.

Rolling Stone
To be sure, it's a jazz album, as much about tradition as expanding it, informed by Coltranes (John and Alice), Miles Davis fusions, bebop and more; yet it's clearly shaped by crate-digger funk and film scores, hip-hop collage and gospel.
You think it's too long? aahh, shaddup. Kamasi Washington just gave you 3 hours of pure magic. Be grateful, ya wieners
Why does the length of this even affect your perception of this album? Rate the music people, not because it took you a long time to fully indulge in it. Admire Kamasi Washington for going through the process of making this long, he didn't have to make this long at all but he did, I appreciate that.

I have only really one issue with this, there is a lot of parts on this that reuse a lot of the same sort of rhythms and vibes, which for me isn't really a big issue, it just got sort of tiring. ... read more
☆☆☆☆ 1/2

You ever just conclude an album and still have one of the melodies ring in your ear again? You ever just lay down and watch the roof for what feels like not enough hours, just pondering on how they've assembled every note and chord put down on the album? You ever have a mental breakdown and realize you'd never accomplish the same? You ever just nod your head because you can tell just how much passion went into something? Or wish you could hear it again for the first time? Or ... read more
George Washington’s debut jazz fusion LP is an epic epic, epicly titled “The Epic”. Maybe this is just me being a noob when it comes to jazz, but this three hour record absolutely blew me away. Washington’s saxophone leads the listener through a galaxy of sounds, flowing down a river of instrumentation on a voyage much like his own across the Delaware River in 1776. I really can’t sum up my feelings about an album like this in a normal review, so I’m just ... read more
It can be said that "The Epic" by Kamasi Washington is not adapted to his time and the public. In 2015, a three-hour jazz record on Brainfeeder is a commercial suicide. Yet, with "The Epic", the bandmaster has released one of the best albums of the year 2015. An album that makes us understand all his influence on some artist of the indie scene. If you liked the latest Flying Lotus album and if you loved the jazzy influences of Kendrick Lamar's TPAB, you have to know that ... read more
Purchasing The Epic from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Added on: May 1, 2015