Jazz-R&B Artist Braxton Cook Announces New EP Black Mona Lisa; Shares “MB (For Ma’Khia Bryant)”
July 29, 2022 BY Jason Currell
After making a grand return with the R&B-leaning single, “The Same (feat. Marquis Hill),” and a three-night stint at the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, the Emmy Award-Winning, Juilliard-trained jazz prodigy Braxton Cook announces his forthcoming EP titled Black Mona Lisa due out September 16th via Nettwerk.
Accompanying the announcement is the powerful single “MB (For Ma’Khia Bryant).” The song started as a collaboration between drummer Moses Boyd and Cook. Cook composed the tune during the pandemic over drum loops sent to him by Boyd. He saved the project file on his computer as “MB.” Soon after, Cook saw on the news that high schooler, Ma’Khia Bryant, was wrongfully murdered by the police. “At that point I knew I wanted this song to be dedicated to her and the lives of Black people that have been killed by the hands of police all over the world.” Cook re-opened the song file and the title, “MB,” took on a whole new meaning. The result is an emotive expression, mourning the loss of innocent life that continues to be a devastating reality in our society.
Listen to MB (For Ma’Khia Bryant)” on all digital retailers (here)
Braxton Cook is one of this generation’s most exciting voices. The uniquely talented vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer blends jazz, soul, and alt-R&B into a fresh new sound all his own.
In 2015, he graduated from The Juilliard School, where he studied Jazz Composition. While a student at Juilliard, Braxton toured with Grammy Award-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott and has since toured and performed with Christian McBride Big Band, Jon Batiste, Tom Misch, and Marquis Hill, among others. Braxton has worked with Rihanna and Solange Knowles at the 2016 VMAs and contracted horn players for Solange’s live shows at the Guggenheim, Radio City Music Hall, and AFROPUNK Festival. Braxton has been featured on Phony Ppl’s album Mosaic and performed with them for their NPR Tiny Desk performance. In 2019, Braxton performed alongside Jon Batiste on the soundtrack for Pixar’s Oscar-winning film Soul.
His previous album release, No Doubt, debuted #2 on iTunes Jazz Chart, amassing 1M streams in its first month. Five (previously independently-released) projects later, Fader Magazine has named Braxton a “Jazz Marvel” and “Jazz Prodigy,” The New Yorker describes his music as “visceral” and “virtuosic,” and Ebony Magazine listed Braxton as a “Top Five Jazz Artist to Watch” (alongside Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Butcher Brown, and Kris Bowers). Other press highlights include NPR “Tiny Desk“ and features with BET, Okayplayer, Billboard, Interview Magazine, and PAPER.
What The Press Is Saying…
“genre-jumping artist whose music feels both contemporary and timeless” – NPR Music
“visceral, virtuosic” – The New Yorker
“Like some of Herbie Hancock’s more pop-oriented work, Cook cannily deconstructs the fundamental building blocks of jazz and reassembles them in a contemporary structure. The result is a winding road of records that meander from tender ballads to roof-raising bangers in a way that luxuriates in the journey, not the destination” – PAPER Magazine
“marvel, prodigy” – FADER
“Cook’s soulful sound seamlessly intertwines jazz with funk, soul, and gospel, a testament to the passionate and thoughtful work he puts out” – OkayPlayer
“Braxton Cook is here to free you from all restrictive, negative thought” – Billboard
“[‘I Can’t’] is a smooth and beautiful love song with a joyful instrumental final minute” – COMPLEX