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Kamasi Washington – Becoming (Music from the Netflix Original Documentary) (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Kamasi Washington – Becoming (Music from the Netflix Original Documentary) (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 30:35 minutes | 652 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Young Turks Recordings

Kamasi Washington‘s score to Michelle Obama‘s Netflix documentary Becoming has finally landed. The documentary paints a candid picture of the former First Lady’s life, from her early childhood to her marriage with Barack Obama, and the soundtrack is a vibrant jazz-tinged accompaniment that offers a whimsical “musical palette” to the personal story.

Dubbed Becoming (Music from the Netflix Original Documentary), the soundtrack spans a total of 16 songs, each no more than three minutes long except one, a departure from Washington’s typically extended jazz epics. “Shout Out of a Cannon” kicks off the LP, a smooth, quiet opener filled with muffled double bass lines and light piano chords. “Becoming” follows next with a warm sax-driven progression, backed by funky guitar licks and crisp rim-clicks on the snare. Many of the tracks embody a gentle sonic narrative, mostly led by finely polished sounds like Washington’s sax or fluttering piano notes, heart-warming motifs to accompany the telling of Obama’s real-life experiences. Other songs, however, like “The Rhythm Changes” and “Detail” come with a more upbeat groove that follows colorfully dynamic rhythms of the quick drum patterns. The soundtrack ends on “Southside V.2,” imbued with a buoyantly soulful groove that wraps up the album on a positive note.

Even if Becoming isn’t a classic studio album by Kamasi Washington like his ambitious records The Epic and Heaven and Earth, it’s still a score that the saxophonist from Los Angeles makes truly his own. Composed to accompany Nadia Hallgren’s documentary about Michelle Obama’s tour to promote Becoming all over the US, this completely instrumental soundtrack fits with the polished, razor-sharp images of a 100% Netflix production. The Kamasi Washington sound, the orchestral approach and the pure melodies are all there; but the avant-gardist veils are balanced by a much more soulful, almost pop approach. It’s a bit like a slightly watered-down Kamasi, which is still very good if not brilliant, plus the more daring themes such as Provocation will be sure to satisfy the saxophonist’s demanding fans… Becoming’s production team obviously didn’t choose the Californian by chance; he perfectly embodies the American dream under Obama’s presidency. He’s a young African-American activist who grew up in Inglewood, became a sideman for Snoop and Kendrick and ended up as a star of the international jazz scene… Despite the lack of risk-taking or lively improvisations, Kamasi Washington proves that even in a marked out and policed context he can still create his own sounds and stay true to himself. – Marc Zisman


1. Kamasi Washington – Shot Out of a Cannon
2. Kamasi Washington – Becoming
3. Kamasi Washington – Take in the Story
4. Kamasi Washington – Southside V.1
5. Kamasi Washington – Dandy
6. Kamasi Washington – The Rhythm Changes
7. Kamasi Washington – Song for Fraser
8. Kamasi Washington – Announcement
9. Kamasi Washington – Detail
10. Kamasi Washington – Fashion Then and Now
11. Kamasi Washington – Provocation
12. Kamasi Washington – Connections
13. Kamasi Washington – Looking Forward
14. Kamasi Washington – I Am Becoming
15. Kamasi Washington – Southside V.2


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