The Epic Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 7 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 76 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release for the Los Angeles jazz saxophonist features his ten-piece band, as well as a 32-piece orchestra, and a 20-person choir.
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  • Record Label: Brainfeeder
  • Genre(s): Jazz, Modern Creative, Modern Jazz, World Fusion, Jazz-Funk, Modal Music, Spiritual Jazz, Latin Jazz
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

The Rhythm Changes
Our minds, our bodies, our feelings They change, they alter, they leave us Somehow, no matter what happens I'm here The time, the season, the... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jul 2, 2015
    90
    It is an album that pushes boundaries and yet is always listenable and relatable, even at its most intricate and complex.
  2. Jun 18, 2015
    86
    The big news is that 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.
  3. Jun 18, 2015
    80
    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.
  4. Jun 18, 2015
    80
    This is wonderful stuff.
  5. Uncut
    Jun 18, 2015
    80
    There's some filler among three hours of material but the instrumentals are staggering, pulsating pieces that breathe life into soul-jazz. [Jul 2015, p.84]
  6. Jun 18, 2015
    80
    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.
  7. Jun 18, 2015
    70
    To be sure, it's a jazz album, as much about tradition as expanding it, informed by Coltranes (John and Alice), Miles Davis fusions, bebop and more; yet it's clearly shaped by crate-digger funk and film scores, hip-hop collage and gospel.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jul 14, 2015
    10
    An absolute stunning, soulful and honest bravura masterpiece. I was completely scared of its beauty in the first listening. It's a grippingAn absolute stunning, soulful and honest bravura masterpiece. I was completely scared of its beauty in the first listening. It's a gripping piece of work. Kudos, Kamasi. Expand
  2. Aug 19, 2015
    10
    Kamasi Washington is a true musical genius. At first i was scared of the 3 hour run time but once i got into it that went away and all iKamasi Washington is a true musical genius. At first i was scared of the 3 hour run time but once i got into it that went away and all i wanted was more! I defiantly recommend this album to anyone. Its a masterpiece! Expand
  3. Jun 28, 2015
    9
    Fantastic modern jazz album. 3 discs totaling 3 hours. It's just insane Kamasi released soooo much music here and he keeps the qualityFantastic modern jazz album. 3 discs totaling 3 hours. It's just insane Kamasi released soooo much music here and he keeps the quality consistently high throughout the entire 3 hours. Anyone looking to check out some modern jazz, this is a great place to look. Kamasi played on some tracks on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and the 2 of them along with Flying Lotus, and bassist bassist Thundercat have all been working together quite a bit lately. It's pretty exciting to see Expand
  4. Dec 20, 2021
    8
    All encompassing cosmic jazz with no limit. Kamasi is befitting of this decades best jazz innovator who knows how to maintain jazz'sAll encompassing cosmic jazz with no limit. Kamasi is befitting of this decades best jazz innovator who knows how to maintain jazz's traditions and discipline whilst exoloring fascinating territory through exuberant hiurs he knows well stay for. Expand
  5. Jun 21, 2022
    8
    Probably the best Jazz album of the 21st century, and one of the most ambitious albums ever made.
  6. Nov 29, 2020
    7
    An enormous piece of work to digest. In 'The Epic', Kamasi Washington manages to make us embark in a three-hour long jazzy journey. The threeAn enormous piece of work to digest. In 'The Epic', Kamasi Washington manages to make us embark in a three-hour long jazzy journey. The three CD's link up very well, as they gain in intensity from the beginning to the end, with some exceptions and surprises. There is a main theme going on with us all along and this sample is also gaining more and more power as we go through this project.
    I admire the presence of Patrice Quinn who gave her powerful voice to make some intense tracks. She brought the little touch of diversity I needed during this long crossing. We can also recognize and salute the work of Thundercat, which is highly present on the front- and backstage. However it's clearly the saxophone who is king of 'The Epic'. Kamasi makes it sometimes soft, often shouting, but it will always be the soul of this album.
    The length of the tracks often makes it confuse to locate ourselves in these three CD's.
    Expand
  7. Dec 27, 2015
    6
    An ambitious three hour Jazz album by debut bandleader Kamasi Washington, The Epic doesn't so much revitalize modern Jazz as it does theAn ambitious three hour Jazz album by debut bandleader Kamasi Washington, The Epic doesn't so much revitalize modern Jazz as it does the popular conception of Jazz. Limited in terms of its reliance upon cliches from Jazz's past (Spiritual Jazz and Funk in particular) as well as the often disappointing soloists (most notably with the horrible trombone player), at best you can call it a record to hopefully reacquaint inexperienced listeners as on this page with Jazz. At worst, it's a very amateur effort with two more discs than it needs. Expand

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