Kamasi Washington Releases Live At The Apollo Theater Concert Film
Los Angeles-based tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington has released a new concert film, recorded live at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. It sees the in-demand bandleader accompanied by The West Coast Get Down, a collective featuring musicians such as bassist Miles Mosley, trombone player Ryan Porter, and keys player Brandon Coleman — all of whom have their own solo projects. In addition to the instrumentalists, vocalists Patrice Quinn and Dwight Trible also contribute to the performance — the latter having released an astonishing LP with Gondwana records and performed at Band on the Wall back in 2017.
The Apollo Theater is perhaps best known for the classic live album by James Brown and the Famous Flames, recorded there on 24th October, 1962, but it has also seen jazz greats like Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker pass through, with recordings of those appearances having been made. Footage of Washington’s Street Fighter Mas, featuring an arpeggio-packed piano solo from Cameron Graves, is available to view on YouTube, while the full film is available on Amazon Prime video.
Repeat Listen: Paul Haslinger – Exit Ghost
Formerly of Tangerine Dream and now an experienced film composer, Paul Haslinger understands as well as anyone music’s ability to guide our emotions. His atmospheric creations on Exit Ghost make use of delicate melodies, filmic percussion, and ambient electronics, presenting us with cues to which we can visualise elegant, cinematic imagery.
Described as ‘his long thought out opus,’ Exit Ghost has been eight years in the making, and as such, is scattered with references to the stimuli that have informed his growth and musical search during that time frame. The light, music box melody of Intrinsic is backed with choppy cellos and filmic percussion, while Valse I is a darker work, with distant voices, manipulated string lines that straddle reality and simulation.
Haslinger’s never over-complicates his pieces, arranging and editing in such a way that the soundstage is full and the track structures are intriguing, but there isn’t too many ideas competing for attention. This is exemplified on the achingly beautiful Berlin 86-11, a simple, harmonic piano ballad that feels comfortingly familiar, but that is underpinned by a rich, subtly-shifting drone, adding a fascinating extra dimension to the track.
Haslinger’s work is economical and emotive, considered and balanced.
New Sounds and Visuals
Bay Area-based outfit The Seshen have dropped a new track from their forthcoming project, CYAN, which drops this month on Tru Thoughts. Accompanied by a moody lyric video, the tune takes shape around percussive programming and a humming detuned synth, with Lalin St. Juste’s precise wordplay and beautiful melodics hooks the central focus.
North African rock outfit Tamikrest have returned with a new single entitled Awnafin. With sharp rock licks, ensemble vocals and epic production value, the group’s first new track in three years is a powerful statement of intent.