When I moved to Philadelphia in August 1990, one thing that struck me was the sheer amount of JAZZ in radio stations. Whereas in Europe I was essentially used to listening to tapes on my walkman, in Philly all I had to do was turn the dial and most of the time something vital would come out of the headphones.
That joyful complexity, that hopeful rush, that sense of possibility that is so woven in the fabric of the American metropolis, it filled the ether constantly. I would hang out in the dorm’s 12th floor hall, contemplating the skyline and smoking Benson and Hedges into the early hours, long after our group chats had signed off for the night, groovin’ philosophically on how it all made so much more sense in context.
Now it’s 2016 and Kamasi Washington carries a legacy… The ghosts of George Russell, Sun Ra, Horace Silver and countless others, they hover and smile.