Review: Kamasi Washington Follows Up Acclaimed 'Epic' With Tidy Yet Complex EP

Our take on 'Harmony of Difference,' a six-song release from the California saxophonist

Kamasi Washington has followed up 'The Epic' with the 'Harmony of Difference' EP. Credit: Jamie James Medina

California sax virtuoso Kamasi Washington became the world's hottest jazz musician with 2015's The Epic, a three-disc opus of funky, labyrinthine wailing longer than Apocalypse Now. His first release since trips to Coachella, Bonnaroo and the BET Awards is a tidy EP under 32 minutes, but it still manages to cover plenty of ground. 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. However Side B's 13-minute "Truth" may stand as his greatest song-length achievement, a mash-up of the other five pieces that crescendos and cascades like Pharoah Sanders' Black Unity meets Godspeed You! Black Emperor.