Kamasi Washington announces new album 'Heaven and Earth'

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Groundbreaking artist Kamasi Washington’s highly anticipated second album Heaven & Earth is set for release June 22 via Young Turks & Rhythmethod in New Zealand. Two songs from the double album debut today, listen to Earth’s “Fists of Fury”  and Heaven’s “The Space Travelers Lullaby” below.

The long-awaited follow up to Washington’s The Epic, Heaven & Earth is comprised of two halves, which find Washington confronting quotidian realities with cosmic themes. A further investigation of Washington’s world-building ideas, the new album explores his reckoning with current global chaos and his vision for the future.

“Fists of Fury” and “The Space Travelers Lullaby” debut today alongside a pair of accompanying scenes created by acclaimed British artist and director Jenn Nkiru. The rich visual contextualisations are inspired by a more expansive collaborativeHeaven & Earth film project that is due for release later in the year.

Washington convened his band, The Next Step, as well as members of the long-running collective The West Coast Get Down at Henson Studios in Los Angeles to record the 16 tracks on Heaven & Earth. The music was composed, written and arranged by Washington, with new arrangements of jazz and bebop legend Freddie Hubbard’s “Hubtones” and iconic kung fu film theme “Fists of Fury,” as well as one song by bandmate Ryan Porter. Thundercat, Terrace Martin,Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley,Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin and many more contribute to the album.

Kamasi Washington is a multi-instrumentalist and producer born and raised in Los Angeles. He grew up playing jazz in the city’s storied Leimert Park neighbourhood under the tutelage of his father, Rickey Washington. Forming his first band, the Young Jazz Giants, with Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, Ronald Bruner, Jr. and Cameron Graves in high school, Washington went on to study ethnomusicology at UCLA and play with Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq and more. His debut album, The Epic, was released in 2015 to rapturous critical reception, universally embraced as one of the best of the year and awarded the inaugural American Music Prize. Heaven & Earth follows The Epic as well as Washington’s 2017 EP Harmony of Difference, an exploration of the musical concept of counterpoint that debuted as an original work for the 2017 Whitney Museum of Art Biennial.

Kamasi Washington on Heaven & Earth: “The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind.” This idea inspired me to make this album Heaven & Earth. The reality we experience is a mere creation of our consciousness, but our consciousness creates this reality based on those very same experiences. We are simultaneously the creators of our personal universe and creations of our personal universe. The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side of this album represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me. Who I am and the choices I make lie somewhere in between.”

  KAMASI WASHINGTON - HEAVEN & EARTH   I. EARTH  1. Fists of Fury 2. Can You Hear Him 3. Hubtones 4. Connections 5. Tiffakonkae 6. The Invincible Youth 7. Testify 8. One of One  II. HEAVEN  9. The Space Travelers Lullaby 10. Vi Lua Vi Sol 11. Street Fighter Mas 12. Song for the Fallen 13. Journey 14. The Psalmnist 15. Show Us the Way 16. Will You Sing

KAMASI WASHINGTON - HEAVEN & EARTH

I. EARTH

1. Fists of Fury
2. Can You Hear Him
3. Hubtones
4. Connections
5. Tiffakonkae
6. The Invincible Youth
7. Testify
8. One of One

II. HEAVEN

9. The Space Travelers Lullaby
10. Vi Lua Vi Sol
11. Street Fighter Mas
12. Song for the Fallen
13. Journey
14. The Psalmnist
15. Show Us the Way
16. Will You Sing