Braxton Cook Reflects on Personal Growth, 'Fire Sign,' and Life in These Times, on The Pulse

May 29, 2020

Braxton Cook is a textbook example of what it means to blend genres while holding fast to the jazz vocabulary.

His third album and latest release, Fire Sign, exhibits a sense of love, honesty, and freedom that hasn't been previously explored. As a newlywed, his music seems to have taken on new meaning -- and he's even unleashing his vocal and guitar abilities.

He's been quite busy during quarantine, performing a Tiny Desk Home concert for NPR Music and releasing his first eBook, Braxton's Favorite II-V-I's, a guide for musicians. He is also providing virtual lessons, while keeping up his Instagram series #TranscriptionTuesday, where he transcribes the solos of saxophone greats, and #SundayStandard, where he plays well known jazz tunes from the American Songbook. He is certainly currently making the most of his creative abilities these days as he works on new music and yet another publication.

On this virtual edition of The Pulse, we chatted about his new perspective on life and how that has influenced his music; growing up on the music scene in Washington, D.C.; and even the current social climate in the U.S., and how living as an African-American man and musician fuels his need to create and use music as both medicine and escapism during these trying times.