The stage is almost littered with instruments, which excited me more than it should, but I don’t know if I’ve been to a show that had a least three different keyboards and two drum sets.
There aren’t many artists in our lifetime who can cause a room full of people to come to a standstill, mouth open, and eyes widened in awe as our souls are catapulted into a world of cosmic energies ready to heal our hearts. Kamasi Washington’s performance did just that. Last Wednesday, Memphis was graced with Moonchild and Kamasi Washington at the New Daisy Theatre for under $30.00, which was like winning the prized Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s mythologized chocolate factory.
Moonchild is one of my favorite artists, so it was truly a treat to witness their multi-instrumental talents come to life. They were a perfect choice to open for Kamasi Washington, for they embody the innovative and genre-bending jazz style that is likened to West Coast Jazz and new age R&B. Plus, it’s always impressive to see a female lead-vocalist interchange between flute, and saxophone. Like, ok or whatever.
As Kamasi Washington’s set was prepared, New Daisy Theatre begin to pack out with eager listeners who honestly, weren’t prepared for the sonic journey we were taken on for the next two hours. To sum up Washington’s performance with words is like trying to sum up child birth: words are always inadequate and its process can only come from God. However; Pitchfork was close in calling his music a healing psychedelic balm in a time of bleary chaos.
I wrote notes throughout the concert in hopes of capturing my feelings as they were happening, so listen to the video above and read below knowing this is a fraction of the experience that is Kamasi Washington.
Kamasi Washington is a jazz spaceship with no seat belt, the most beautiful expression of soul and earth; of what jazz was and is growing into. I swear I am achieving some sacred bond to each performer and I’m left knowing and unknowing.
These are beautiful expressions of creation with a most divine vocal interpretator. Indeed, she’s like a cosmic guardian of energy levels, sending forth love, warmth, chaos, truth.
Rerun- feels like some groovy, funk, secret kept between the two (Kamasi Washington an, ), but they have allowed fleeting moments of truth to their childhood friendship and the realm they exist within.
Henrietta, We Honor- One of the most moving songs I’ve heard played live. It’s pouring with so much emotion. We felt the strength of his grandmother with the meekness of her soul. She filled the space with her presence, Patrice Quinn is so intimate, so raw. I believe I just witnessed and incantation to our female ancestors, a most beautiful veneration.
For the gift Kamasi Washington is, I’m left wondering, what do we give to him?
As drumstick met the thump of drum-set I was inducted into a tribe of jazz geniuses and lifted by the sonorous brilliance of saxophone, flute, and trumpet while lullabied by keyboard and voice. A week later and I’m still in awe of Kamasi Washington.
As the last performance of 2017, I’m praying 2018 is the sequel to such a dynamic concert.
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