When the West Coast Get Down locked themselves in a studio for an entire month, each member of the group came out with a plethora of material. The first release from the session was Kamasi Washington’s groundbreaking 2015 album The Epic, and now upright bass phenom Miles Mosley has unveiled his first piece from the collaboration.
In the bassist’s typical fashion, “Abraham” ties together rock, soul, jazz, funk and pop to create a groove that will keep your head bobbing. The track is rounded out by West Coast Get Down alumni Tony Austin (drums), Ryan Porter (trombone), Kamasi Washington (tenor sax), Cameron Graves (piano) and Brandon Coleman (vintage keys). Trumpeters Dontae Winslow and Chris Gray also appear on the track as well as tenor saxophonist Zane Musa, who passed away in 2015.
The song, which he’s been performing on tour with Washington, is semi-autobiographical. Mosley’s birth name is Abraham, and the story is partly a product of his heritage. “I feel as though I am a natural expression of diversity and oneness,” he says. “Being born of a Jewish mother and Southern Baptist father, I grew up in Los Angeles constantly being faced with the pressure and suggestion to be more like one than the other depending on circumstances, thus, I’ve been “soul searching” since I was 5. The first book my mother ever gave me to read was the “Tibetan Book of the Dead,” so I cultivated an early adoration for powerful texts, and their effect on different societies. ‘Abraham’ was written to feel like a powerful arrival of self-knowing. To step on stage in front of thousands of people, introduce myself through song, and share my voice both personally and through my unique approach to the instrument is an honor, that’s why I make sure I play my bass loud enough for even my ancestors to feel.”