Kamasi Washington Delivers a Dizzying Rendition of Metallica’s ‘My Friend of Misery’

Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington has released his rendition of Metallica’s “My Friend of Misery,” from the group’s upcoming Black Album covers  compilation, The Metallica Blacklist.

Washington’s take on “My Friend of Misery” boasts a frenetic energy that leaps from the bustling drums and piano to Washington’s own searing solo. Vocalist Patrice Quinn presides over this fury with a remarkable cool that builds to something distorted and potent by the end.

Back in July, Washington previewed his rendition of “My Friend of Misery” during a show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The performance even featured Metallica’s own Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, though neither appear on the studio version.

Along with the release of Washington’s “My Friend of Misery,” Metallica shared a very early version of the song taken from then-bassist Jason Newsted’s “riff tapes.” The track is one of an array of demos, rarities, and live recordings that will appear on Metallica’s upcoming 30th anniversary reissue of The Black Album.

The Metallica Blacklist and The Black Album 30th anniversary reissue will both be released September 10th. Washington is among the over 50 artists Metallica tapped to cover their favorite Black Album song for the compilation. The band has also shared covers by Rina Sawayama, Idles, Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton, Weezer, Jon Pardi, J Balvin, Diet Cig, Jason Isbell, St. Vincent, and an all-star rendition of “Nothing Else Matters” by Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Watt, Robert Trujillo, and Chad Smith.