Kamasi Washington | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN
Watch Kamasi Washington’s new ode to an old jazz hero
Calling the work of jazz icon Kamasi Washington “earth-shattering” would simply be an understatement. His 2018 sophomore album Heaven and Earth is a masterpiece of adrenalized improvisation with roots in Afro-Latin rhythms. The series of music videos accompanying the latest album seem to be piecing together a larger narrative, one laden with political and cultural significance. His song “Hub-Tones” is a take on trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s 1963 piece of the same name, and in its new music video, directed by Jenn Nkiru, the camera focuses on three hypnotic women dancing for a full nine minutes.
In a statement, Washington commented:
“As an African-American, a lot of us don’t know the country of our origin, that’s why most of us take on the ideology of Pan-Africanism. I was trying to connect to my ancestors by connecting African rhythms with a Freddie Hubbard tune which gave me that connection in a different way.”