Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington is a central figure in the Los Angeles jazz scene. He’s toured for over a decade with artists like Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill, and Snoop Dogg. He collaborated on Kendrick Lamar's classic "To Pimp A Butterfly". And only months later, Kamasi released his own highly-acclaimed, three-disc record "The Epic"
For a minute there Kamasi Washington was The Guy Who Played Saxophone and Created the Jazz Arrangements on the Kendrick Record, but it didn’t take long for his astonishing album The Epic to develop a life of its own.
After growing up in Los Angeles and working as a touring musician for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Lauren Hill and Raphael Saadiq, the 34-year-old saxophonist, bandleader and composer earned his first major recognition for his musical contributions to Kendrick Lamar’s massively hailed To Pimp A Butterfly.
This list isn’t meant to be definitive. Instead, it’s an alphabetically ordered grab-bag of what some of The Atlantic's editors and writers listened to over and over again in 2015. You can listen along with our Spotify playlist.