Kamasi Washington unveils massive multi-genre double album 'Heaven and Earth'

The Californian jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington blurs the lines between genres on his latest 16-track double album 'Heaven and Earth' which sprawls over 2 hours

                            Kamasi Washington unveils massive multi-genre double album 'Heaven and Earth'
Kamasi Washington (Source: Getty Images)

Kamasi Washington has released his epic double album 'Heaven and Earth.' Spanning 16 tracks across a monumental two hours and 24 minutes, the much-awaited double album is a follow up to last year's critically acclaimed 'Harmony of Difference' EP and contains previously previewed tracks. It is Washington's first full-length LP since 2015's 'The Epic' and his first for the London-based label Young Turks.

The album has already swept critics off the floor with rave reviews pouring in from several tastemaking publications. Pitchfork rated the album 8.8 on 10, showcasing it in their 'Best New Music' section and calling it a "multi-genre feast of musical ideas, his most sweeping and complete statement yet." Metacritic gave the album an 84% favorable rating, while The Guardian gave it 4 stars out of 5, calling it an album that "connects politics with the jazz of the past to create an angrily inclusive new vision."

Washington recently tweeted about the album, explaining the dichotomy on the two sides of the double album: "The Earth side represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me," the jazz saxophonist tweeted.

“I was looking to take this journey where we start off [with the] understanding that what we think and what we imagine affects our experience,” Washington said in an interview with The Guardian about the album’s impetus.

“If my thoughts and dreams can affect the world, that means essentially I am making my own world for myself. The world isn’t what the ‘world leaders’ want it to be; it’s what we all make it to be. Those people don’t really have power, we give them their power. If we all took that mentality of, ‘I’m going to make the world the way it’s supposed to be, to the best extent that I can do it’, true change could happen.”

An in-demand collaborator who made big waves after working with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Washington will also appear on Florence + The Machine’s upcoming album 'High As Hope', as well as on Herbie Hancock’s forthcoming album. Last year, Washington played with the likes of St. Vincent, Ibeyi, and Thundercat, and joined Terrace Martin’s all-star collective The Pollyseeds.