The Epic
Kamasi Washington The Epic.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 5, 2015 (2015-05-05)
StudioKingsize Soundlabs
(Los Angeles, California)
GenreJazz
Length173:36
LabelBrainfeeder
ProducerKamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington chronology
Light of the World
(2008)
The Epic
(2015)
Harmony of Difference
(2017)
Singles from The Epic
  1. "Re Run Home"
    Released: March 10, 2015
  2. "Miss Understanding"
    Released: April 8, 2015

The Epic is the major-label debut and overall third studio album by American jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington. It was released on May 5, 2015, through the Brainfeeder record label.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.9/10[1]
Metacritic83/100[2]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[3]
Drowned in Sound8/10[4]
Financial Times4/5 stars[5]
The Guardian4/5 stars[6]
The Irish Times5/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork8.6/10[8]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[9]
Uncut8/10[10]

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.[2] 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."[3] 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."[4]

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."[6] 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."[8]

Accolades

PublicationAccoladeYearRank
The GuardianThe Best Albums of 20152015
PitchforkThe 50 Best Albums of 20152015
The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s2019
Rough TradeAlbums of the Year 20152015
StereogumThe 50 Best Albums of 20152015
The WireReleases of the Year 1–502015
Rolling StoneThe 100 Best Albums of the 2010s201982[17]

Track listing

CD

All tracks are 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

  • Kamasi Washington — tenor saxophone, band leader
  • Miles Mosley — upright 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
  • — trumpet

Chart positions

Charts (2015)Peak
position
US Billboard Heatseekers[18]6
US Billboard Independent Albums[19]18
US Billboard Jazz Albums[20]3

Year-end charts

Chart (2016)Position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[21]145

Certifications

RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[22]Platinum20,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References

  1. ^ "The Epic by Kamasi Washington reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Reviews for The Epic by Kamasi Washington". Metacritic. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "The Epic – Kamasi Washington". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Warfield, Russell (May 5, 2015). "Album Review: Kamasi Washington – The Epic". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Hobart, Mike (May 2, 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic — review". Financial Times. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Fordham, John (June 18, 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic review – a spectacular new jazz odyssey". The Guardian. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  7. ^ Carroll, Jim (July 3, 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic | Album Review". The Irish Times. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Walls, Seth Colter (May 8, 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Hermes, Will (June 2, 2015). "The Epic". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Lewis, John (July 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic". Uncut (218): 84.
  11. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  12. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Pitchfork. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  13. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s". Pitchfork. October 8, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Albums of the Year 2015". roughtrade.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  15. ^ "The 50 Best Albums Of 2015". stereogum.com. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  16. ^ "2015 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50". The Wire. No. 383. London. January 2016. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. (subscription required)
  17. ^ Grow, Jon Dolan,Brittany Spanos,Simon Vozick-Levinson,Rob Sheffield,Charles Holmes,Christian Hoard,Joseph Hudak,Elias Leight,Suzy Exposito,Will Hermes,Angie Martoccio,David Browne,Hank Shteamer,Jon Freeman,Claire Shaffer,Brenna Ehrlich,Jonathan Bernstein,Jon Blistein,Nick Catucci,Brendan Klinkenberg,Danny Schwartz,Kory; Portwood, Jerry (2019-12-03). "The 100 Best Albums of the 2010s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  18. ^ "Kamasi Washington- Heatseekers chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  19. ^ "Kamasi Washington- Independent Albums chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  20. ^ "Kamasi Washington - Jazz Albums chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2016 Albums". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  22. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Kamasi Washington; 'The Epic')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 23 December 2018.

External links