Last night, Kamasi Washington made his television debut on The Tonight Show, and his performance of “The Garden Path” lived up to the hype. Where most late-night performers bring at most a five-piece band (drums, bass, guitar, keys, and maybe a DJ), Kamasi brought an only slightly scaled-down version of his usual extravagant orchestras with him, utilizing what looks like every square inch of available space on the Tonight Show stage to play the sweeping, funky composition.
Kamasi himself stood in the center of the storm flanked by his backup singers, controlling the chaos with massive blasts from his sax.
Although “The Garden Path” is Washington’s first solo release since 2021’s “Sun-Kissed Child,” the jazz revivalist did find time over the past year to contribute to The Metallica Blacklist, a tribute album dedicated to the metal pioneers, with a horn-heavy cover of “My Friend Of Misery.”
Of his latest song, Kamasi said in a press release, “The world feels turned upside down. There’s so much push and pull in every direction, from everyone you meet—no one knows what to think, who to believe, or how to approach life right now. No matter how smart you are, it’s hard not to feel blind.”
Watch Kamasi Washington’s Tonight Show performance of “The Garden Path” above.