Kamasi Washington Previews New Album 'Heaven and Earth' with Two New Songs

The follow-up to 2015's ambitious 'Epic' is due out June 22.

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Apr 10 2018, 2:39pm

Durimel

Kamasi Washington, the saxophonist whose collaborations with rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Run the Jewels are at least partially responsible for getting a generation of kids to listen to jazz, has a new record coming out on June 22. It's called Heaven and Earth and, as the title suggests, it's a double album. "The Earth side represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of," Washington wrote on Twitter yesterday. "The Heaven side represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me."

This morning, Washington released a song from each of the sections: "Fists of Fury" from Earth and "The Space Traveller's Lullaby" from Heaven. The former is syncopated and cinematic, 10 minutes of intertwining bass and extravagant strings broken up by careening piano and sax solos. It's Washington's interpretation of Freddie Hubbard's theme to the 1972 Bruce Lee movie, Fists of Fury. (Hey, if you have a couple hours to kill this morning, here's the whole film on YouTube.) "The Space Traveller's Lullaby" is more contemplative and relaxed, exhaling into its progressions and changeups, though its no less dramatic for it.

Listen to both songs below, and two scenes directed by the British artist Jenn Nkuru beneath that. Heaven and Earth will feature contributions from Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley, Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin.

Alex Robert Ross is feeling jazzy on Twitter.