Emmy Award-winning artist Braxton Cook delivers jazzy five-song project Black Mona Lisa, reflecting upon themes of Black excellence, balancing a beautifully intimate exploration of his relationship with his wife and newborn son with critical commentary of the world we live in.
From the groovy stylings of “Statistics,” led by his wispy vocals over a layered instrumental to the luxurious feel of title track “Black Mona Lisa,” and soaring yet hazy arrangement of “The Same,” the EP immediately establishes Cook’s ability to seamlessly blend his dynamic vocals with sultry alto saxophone soundscapes.
“MB( for Ma’Khia Bryant),” is a stand-out number, juxtaposing gently romantic offerings the preceded with powerful commentary on policing in America, dedicated to the 16-year-old who was murdered in 2021, carried by a bold sonic of progressive jazz and R&B as well as the raw beauty of what Cook refers to as “”simply Black American Music.”
Final track “Let Go,” brings the dazzling project to an end by heaving electro-tinged hypnotic vibe rooted on hushed vocals and a soft soundscape to match, perfectly establishing Cook’s trademark blend of jazz, soul and alt-R&B. Having earned himself a space in jazz music through his prodigal skill in the style, Cook continues to re-invent himself on each new release – leaving us in anticipation of everything to come from this emerging talent.
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