Home Read Albums Of The Week: Kamasi Washington | Fearless Movement

Albums Of The Week: Kamasi Washington | Fearless Movement

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “While turning his attention to dance for his latest album Fearless Movement, Kamasi Washington resumes his ongoing study of music as a means of connection.

His previous albums The Epic and Heaven And Earth were received by critics and audiences as a reimagination of modern jazz, showcasing Washington’s larger-than-lift compositions full of celestial grandeur and his distinct blend of jazz, Latin, funk, classical, hip-hop and soul. Fearless Movement, however, offers something different: Terrestrial rhythms and collaborations from rappers, musical icons and even Washington’s own daughter. Guests include Thundercat, Taj Austin, Ras Austin, Patrice Quinn, DJ Battlecat, Brandon Coleman, D-Smoke, George Clinton, Bj the Chicago Kid and Andre 3000.

Washington calls Fearless Movement his dance album — but “it’s not literal,” he says. “Dance is movement and expression, and in a way it’s the same thing as music — expressing your spirit through your body. That’s what this album is pushing.” Dance as an embodied form of expression signals a shift in focus for Washington. Where previous albums dealt with cosmic ideas and existential concepts, Fearless Movement focuses in on the everyday, an exploration of life on earth. This change in scope is due in large part to the birth of Washington’s first child a few years ago.

Photo by Vincent Haycock.

“Being a father means the horizon of your life all of a sudden shows up,” he says. “My mortality became more apparent to me, but also my immortality — realizing that my daughter is going to live on and see things that I’m never going to see. I had to become comfortable with this, and that affected the music that I was making.”

Washington is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader born and raised in Los Angeles. His three bodies of work to date — The Epic; the Harmony of Difference EP and Heaven And Earth — are among the most acclaimed of this century. His short film companion to Heaven And Earth debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival to widespread acclaim. In 2020, Washington scored the Michelle Obama documentary Becoming, earning Emmy and Grammy nominations. Also in 2020, Washington co-founded the supergroup Dinner Party with longtime friends and collaborators Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper and 9th Wonder — their EP was subsequently nominated for a Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album.

In 2021, he contributed a cover of Metallica’s My Friend of Misery to the band’s Metallica Blacklist covers project. Washington has toured the world over and collaborated and shared stages with Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine, Herbie Hancock and many more.”