Harmony of Difference

Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
User Score
Based on 221 ratings
2017 Ratings: #62
Liked by 5 people
September 29, 2017 / Release Date
EP / Format
Young Turks / Label
Jazz / Genres
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Pretty Much Amazing

This is a record where the sum is greater than the parts, whereas The Epic was its parts (and having a lot of them). Harmony of Difference is another win in Kamasi Washington’s book, and I’m no less excited for his next move.

While ‘Harmony Of Difference’ will delight jazz fans, it is a truly incredible record irrespective of genre. If you are capable of feeling, you will find much to love here.

Harmony of Difference demonstrates Kamasi Washington as jazz's next great thinker, shaper and leader.


Following on its massive and sometimes unwieldy predecessor, Harmony of Difference, a brief and concentrated blast of emotion, is a great place to catch up on what Washington has to say.


On Harmony of Difference, Washington’s work remains as substantial and compelling as ever, and with any luck this EP is setting the scene for another, longer release from him soon.

Loud and Quiet
The appeal of Washington’s music lies in the rather elegant combination of approachability with serious technical chops. ‘Harmony Of Difference’ extends that appeal and adds the one thing ‘The Epic’ didn’t – leaving the listener wanting more.
It's chock-full of refreshing, sophisticated ideas, all balanced by an empathic, emphatic inclusiveness that engages the listener at both musical and emotional levels.
Crack Magazine
Celebratory, compassionate and arguably Kamasi Washington’s best work yet.
The Line of Best Fit

Each sophisticated melody and harmony may seem jarring and sometimes uncomfortable – as is the way with jazz music – but underneath the spiritual solos and out-there notes, there is a simple, familiar sound – and here lies the beauty of the Harmony Of Difference.

Rather than living in the past or getting lost in modernity, Washington coalesces these two worlds, providing a dramatic move forward without losing his identity in the process.
Drowned in Sound

If The Epic was a very large and rich meal then Harmony of Difference is a palate-cleansing sorbet or digestif. On the surface there is nothing unyielding or dense about it and everything flows together wonderfully, but once you start to scratch the surface you discover an EP that is full of hidden melodies and motifs and has enough to charm to make up for its brevity.

Rolling Stone
Debuted as part of the 2016 Whitney Biennial, five short numbers warmly flirt with gentle Brazilian flourishes, smooth jazz and a slinky sound that feels like glossy Seventies funk fusion.
The Guardian
The end effect – for better and for worse – is like one of Pharoah Sanders’ late-1960s outfits letting rip on a series of vapid Kenny G numbers.
Big, full, modal, imaginative, rich, varied and original are the adjectives that come to mind when I think of how to describe Washington's brilliant EP, 'Harmony of Difference.' However brief it may be, it's so full of sublime Jazz music while also demonstrating further the majesty of Washington's musicality that I just ended up letting it loop itself. Having grown up in a house often filled with Jazz sophisticates like Davis, Coltrane and Gil Evans it's not hard for me to find a level of ... read more
This ep was a great move for Kamasi I think. I'm aware that a lot of people struggled to get into The Epic just simply based off of how long and daunting of an album it was, so seeing Kamasi take a different songwriting approach that's more concise and accessible with more traditional song lengths is probably a beneficial move for him. This is not only because it means he now has a project under his belt that could appeal to a larger audience of people, but it also shows his versatility since ... read more
The go-to record for if I ever feel like listening to a Kamasi project whilst not feeling like listening to over 2 hours of jazz.

Best Track: Knowledge
Worst Track: Truth
A solid album return after his phenomenal last album "The epic", Kamasi Washington EP "Harmony of Difference" gives us a more compacted and tranquil take of jazz. I thoroughly enjoyed this record even if it isn't pushing any bounders of jazz.
For 6-tracks and 31 minutes, Kamasi Washington explores histories of jazz on "Harmony of Difference." Whenever Washington pushes his sax, he exudes a Coltrane tone, a sound that tries to break the instrument into little pieces. When he blows on the big-band infused "Harmony," his sax barely contains his power. Then on the more textured yet smooth "Knowledge," Washington and his bandmates play with sonic textures thanks to the powerful, playful rhythm section. Here, ... read more
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Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, Novell_sx, erik

Added on: August 1, 2017