Kamasi Washington 2

Kamasi Washington’s debut The Epic was just that—epic, in both length and thematic range—and the first track from his upcoming Harmony of Difference EP is no different. “Truth” is an exultant, thirteen-minute-long track accompanied by a vibrant music video directed by AG Rojas. Bursting with voices and instruments, its exuberance is startling—not because it’s uncharacteristic of Washington but because it’s so uncharacteristic of the times. A good deal of recent music has raged against the so-called post-truth era: Kendrick Lamar’s Trump-dumping in “The Heart Part 4,” the titular suggestion of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, and the doomsaying return of Gorillaz all remind us that we live in a country riven with divisions.

And then there’s “Truth,” with its glorious choirs and orchestral strings. While it’s not necessarily a political song, it’s difficult to read the EP’s title as merely a celebration of jazz music. Perhaps Harmony of Difference is a suggestion that, just as jazz needs difference and multiplicity to thrive, so does the country that created it. “Truth” is not an escape from present ills but a reminder of the moral strength of music, a wordless celebration of truth in a country that seems to have given up on the notion. Harmony of Difference is out this summer on Young Turks.
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