Los Angeles based jazz composer Kamasi Washington has kept a moderately low profile since the release of his debut album The Epic. Stringing together a multitude of sweeping notes and tones, the album became a force within the jazz world and publicly announced Washington as one of its brightest voices.
Two years later, Washington returns with his first piece of new music. Titled ”Truth,” the near 14-minute composition comes attached with a vibrant, colorful short film directed by A.G. Rojas. In the film, multiple people of different ages, colors and creeds are faced with different challenges all with a singular reminder: Pink flowers. There’s a young black boy, shirtless imitating the actions of a grown man in a call to owning one’s manhood. There’s two shirtless men wrestling in a field; a multitude of profile shots of various people either on the beach or holding on to or posing with flowers. Images of togetherness, uniqueness and freedom wash over as Washington’s horn section plays over.
It ties into one beautiful picture of Los Angeles, the LA nestled below the high rises and screaming Hollywood billboards. The music and film were originally featured as part of an original six-movement suite from Washington that premiered as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial. The suite will remain on display until June 11. The full suite runs 37 minutes and features Washington’s work set to art and imagery created by his sister, Amani.
Kamasi Washington’s follow-up album to The Epic in Harmony of Difference will arrive this summer.