Marymoor Concerts hosted an epic jazz double-feature on August 16, 2019, with co-headliners Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington.
Critically acclaimed saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington was accompanied by a talented lineup of Miles Mosley (bass), Ryan Porter (trombone), Patrice Quinn (vocals & dance), Cameron Graves (keys), BIGYUKI (keys & synthesizers), both Tony Austin and Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums) simultaneously, and Kamasi’s father Rickey Washington (soprano saxophone & flute), AKA “the man who taught me everything I know.” This band also knows how to accessorize an outfit.
They played an impassioned set of synergistic grooves and impressive solo sections that included both originals and covers: “Abraham,” “Truth,” “Fists of Fury,” and “Show Us the Way.” Taking its title and theme from the 1971 Bruce Lee movie, Fists of Fury featured Quinn’s memorable spoken words, “Our time as victims is over/We will no longer ask for justice/Instead we will take our retribution.” Washington shared a message of appreciation and universal love, which was reciprocated by the crowd. Amidst standing ovations, he asked, “Are y’all ready for Herbie Hancock? Me, too.”
Jazz-fusion legend Herbie Hancock strutted across the stage in red running shoes, blew appreciative kisses to the cheering crowd, and announced that things were about to get a little strange. They did, with Hancock rotating through Korg Kronos, grand piano, vocal-effects headset, and (of course) white keytar. Decades after his heyday, the 79-year-old keyboardist and composer remains agile and vibrant, and continues to innovate through new electronics and collaborations. He still brings to the stage an irreplicable cool.
Hancock was joined by a powerhouse of Lionel Loueke (guitar), Terrace Martin (saxophone & synths), James Genus (bass), and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), and paused mid-set to provide an extended biography of each musician. The set was mostly classics, but with one preview of his upcoming album: “Overture (Fascinating Rhythm),” “Butterfly,” “Actual Proof,” “Come Running to Me,” “Secret Sauce,” and “Cantaloupe Island.” They returned for a funky encore of “Chameleon” with Hancock on keytar—plus several members of Kamasi Washington’s band—which brought all generations to their feet for overhead clapping and dancing.