Braxton Cook

Episode 391: Makaya McCraven's 'Universal Beings' and new music from Braxton Cook

Episode 391: Makaya McCraven's 'Universal Beings' and new music from Braxton Cook

To call Chicago’s Makaya McCraven, just a drummer would be doing the multi-talented musical truth seeker a grave disservice. Over the past few years, McCraven has been refining a production technique that mixes live jam sessions and impromptu performances with radically creative editing to produce some of the most exciting jazz of the modern day. On Universal Beings, an album recorded in four different locations with four distinct groups of musicians at each, McCraven seems to have perfected this technique, and the result is one of the best albums of 2018. Meditative, complex, smooth, and even funky, Universal Beings points to blindingly bright future for not just McCraven, but jazz as a whole.

PLUS! Saxaphonist, vocalist, and DMV native Braxton Cook is back with a new album No Doubt, and we’ve got a listen to it’s title track to help you get hip to this remarkable talent!


Episode 343: The Sounds of Washington, DC, Part 2 - Chocolate City

Episode 343: The Sounds of Washington, DC, Part 2 - Chocolate City

Known to most of the world as a political playground, Washington, D.C. is a city where decisions that shape the course of, not just American, but HUMAN history, are made every day. More than that though, D.C. is a city where cultures collide resulting in a creative class that produces some of the most compelling and diverse art in the world. Built on the legacy of jazz and go-go, D.C. is on the cusp of a creative explosion and bringing everything from hip-hop to indie rock into the fold.

In part two of our Sounds of Washington, DC series, we're joined by the duo April + Vista, one of the city's rising stars, to explore a little bit of the history of "Chocolate City", some of the music that made the nation's capital such a fertile landscape for African-American musicians to thrive in, and how economic shifts and gentrification have changed things for that tradition, maybe for good.