In just over a decade, Kamasi Washington's journey through the jazz pantheon has positioned him as a modern torchbearer of the genre.

With Fearless Movement, Washington deepens this narrative, beginning with his 2015 debut, The Epic. It may be his most audacious statement yet, distilling his grandiloquent vision into earthier but no less intricate rhythmic structures.

From The Epic, a sprawling three-hour masterpiece that married jazz's past, present, and future, to the dual narratives of Heaven and Earth, which explored themes of pragmatic reality versus optimistic ideation, Washington's discography is marked by its grand scale and depth. Fearless Movement carries forward the legacy but pivots toward a more body-centric approach. Where earlier works were vast in their cosmic reach, this album brings his explorations back to Earth, grounding them in rhythm and physical expression.

Collaborations have always featured prominently throughout Washington's career. He has worked with such modern revolutionaries as Flying Lotus, Run the Jewels, and contributed to Kendrick Lamar's groundbreaking To Pimp a Butterfly. Fearless Movement is no different. The album features a staggering array of talents, including Thundercat, DJ Battlecat, and Brandon Coleman, and an inspired gathering of voices from hip-hop and soul, such as George Clinton, Andre 3000, and Bj the Chicago Kid. These collaborations are integral to the narrative fabric of Fearless Movement, creating a dialogue between jazz and its progeny, hip-hop and R&B, with smatterings of electronica and synth-pop thrown in.

The album opens with Lesanu, a piece that reverberates with spiritual depth through the Ancient Ethiopian language, Ge'ez. The inclusion of traditional handclaps juxtaposed with modern jazz arrangements echoes the divine undertones of The Epic but with an almost meditative focus. Here, Washington's tenor saxophone weaves through a prayerful melody that mourns a lost friend and seamlessly celebrates new paths and epochs.

Following this, Asha The First not only highlights Washington's personal evolution—with the involvement of his daughter Asha, born during its pandemic-era composition—but also showcases his music's organic, evolutionary nature. Inspired by a piano melody repeatedly played by his two-year-old and featuring the fluid bass of Thundercat, rapped verses from Ras Austin and Taj Austin, and a spirited ensemble performance that echoes childhood joy and spontaneity, the track is a literal and figurative representation of new beginnings.

The album's atmospheric centerpiece, Dream State, features André 3000, whose array of fluttering flutes complement Washington's saxophone in a mesmerizing avant-garde dialogue between old souls and new worlds. This track's focus on humanism moves slightly away from the spiritual themes that dominated Washington's earlier works without sacrificing depth and complexity.

Get Lit then encapsulates the album's collaborative spirit and danceable ethos. George Clinton's funk-infused vocals and D Smoke's sharp lyrical delivery meld with Washington's saxophone to celebrate cultural continuity and innovation. Conversely, Together offers a moment of calm within the album's vibrancy, nodding to classic jazz with its smooth, contemplative tones.

Computer Love is another highlight, where Washington channels his heroes—Herbie Hancock and Joe Zawinul—into a modern interpretation of their work, rich with futuristic synths and the sultry vocals of Patrice Quinn.
Concluding tracks like The Garden Path and Prologue showcase his ability to move from high-tempo bebop influences to lush, orchestral jazz fusion, creating a cinematic experience that is exhilarating and intellectually engaging.

While not danceable in the conventional sense, the album's structure and rhythm invite a bodily response just as much as a cerebral one. It's a dance of the mind and spirit, each track a movement in a grander philosophical symphony that resonates with the kinetic energy of dance. As Washington continues to bridge diverse worlds of music, Fearless Movement affirms his role at the forefront of modern jazz and as one of music's most exciting and ambitious creators and bandleaders.