Rahsaan's Rhythm Review


Rahsaan Nance Welcome to my first ever album review! Let’s start off with a good one. On September 29, 2017, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington released Harmony of Difference, his first offering since his 2015 masterpiece, The Epic. The opening track, “Desire,” is very relaxed, with a melody that builds as the song continues. After a brief solo from Kamasi and organist Brandon Coleman, the song segues into the uptempo “Humility,” reminiscent of “Change of the Guard” — the first song on the album prior. Next is “Knowledge.” The afro-cuban influences shroud the percussion as the song builds. We get a solo from trombonist and member of the “West Coast Get Down”(a collection of people that Kamasi grew up with that played on “The Epic” and each other’s albums), Ryan Porter. The mellow beginning repeats itself at the end, which is abruptly ended by a crash from the drums. Kamasi begins to slowly play the melody of my favorite piece on this EP, “Perspective.” Eventually, we settle into the main groove, which reminds of of 70s funk and R&B, with a Parliament-esque feel. After an impassioned solo from Kamasi, we return to the head and end as abruptly as we start — we hear the final organ vibrato from Coleman. Up next, we get the bossa inspired “Integrity,” which offers a melody very similar to that of the first piece, “Desire.” After a solo from Kamasi, the bass player and fellow member of the West Coast Get Down, Miles Mosley, takes a solo before they take the head out. The final piece, “Truth,” opens with bass and piano from WCGD members Cameron Graves and Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner. As the drums kick in, we are reminded of “Desire” once more, this time the melody played by guitarist Matt Haze. Nick Manzini enters with the vibe part, which resembles the melody of “Humility.” Then, the horns come in with the melody of “Knowledge,” the strings come in with the melody of “Perspective,” and the choir enters with the melody of “Integrity” to create one amalgamation of every other song on the album. When I went to see Kamasi live in November, he explained that with this E.P., he tried to create a literal Harmony of Difference by taking a bunch of different songs and putting them together. After a tempo change and incredible solo from Kamasi, we get a brief bass break from Mosley and Bruner. As the song continues, the drumming from WCGD members Ronald Bruner Jr. and Tony Austin intensify with the choir to its final climax and release. Be sure to listen (and preferably purchase) this album when you get the chance, and if you like it, here are some other albums you should check out: Planetary Prince — Cameron Graves Uprising — Miles Mosley Spirit — Alex Han If you have anything music suggestions for me to review in the future, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!]]>