Taylor Simone and Jett Carter of R&B/soul duo Jazze Belle and jazz saxophonist Braxton Cook are your guides to an astral new sub-genre of soul. If you like the playlist, get to know Taylor, Jett, and Braxton in a wide-ranging interview with student curator Dania Lewis that covers everything from truth in art to Black Lives Matter.
Taylor and Jett’s Picks
“Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
This song is always a reference point for us. It’s jazzy and funky, wistful and joyful. Flying Lotus has always been one of our favorites, but with Kendrick it’s one of our all-time favorites.
“Somewhere in Between” by Braxton Cook
Such a beautiful and relaxing song. Braxton melds his singing voice and sax voice together so effortlessly.
“Cadillac Dreams” by SiR
This was the first song that got us into SiR. The beat is heavy and the vocals are floaty, just like we like it.
“Church/Liquor Store” by Saba
Saba’s vibe on this is soulful and out of the box. He’s an artist that we really like and are eager to follow his journey.
“Take the Time” by Ronald Bruner Jr. (feat. Thundercat)
Where rock and jazz collide!! So much energy and power in this song. We love it.
“Get You” by Daniel Caesar (feat. Kali Uchis)
Infectious groove and smooth vocals
“Them Changes” by Thundercat (feat. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)
I love this song! Thundercat plays one of the funkiest basslines in recent times.
“Pour Maman” by Gabriel Garzon-Montano
This track kind of grows on you. It's a slow boil that just builds and builds until it opens up into a huge jam at the end. It reminds me of the power of simplicity in arrangement.
“The Waters” by Anderson .Paak (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)
This whole album is amazing but this track in particular reminds me of D'Angelo's Voodoo. It's a throwback to the neo-soul era I grew up on.
“Shoulda Coulda Woulda (Scw)” by Jazze Belle
The groove on this track is reminiscent of Erykah Badu's Baduizm but the production brings it into the current day. The hook is so catchy and the song really epitomizes new age soul.
Listen to the full playlist.
About the Curators
Jazze Belle is a Harlem-based group headed by producer/instrumentalist Jett Carter and singer/songwriter Taylor Simone. With influences ranging from Flying Lotus to Jill Scott, and of course, Outkast, the two share a sound influenced by jazzy vocals, honest lyrics, and edgy hip-hop production. In the words of music publication No Smoking Media, their work is "a cool sort of future-funk/neo-soul/I’m-sick-of-making-up-genres category that is all of them and none of them at once." All of their influences can be heard in their first releases “Jagged Edge,””SCW,” and “Lantern.” They released their debut project Go To Bed Standing Up on February 25.
Braxton Cook is one of this generation’s emerging voices on the alto saxophone. He is also a talented vocalist and songwriter whose sound blends soul, R&B, and jazz. A graduate of Juilliard, Cook has toured with Grammy Award–nominated trumpeter Christian Scott, The New Century Jazz Quintet, and Tomohiro Miro Quartet, among others. His 2014 EP Sketch and 2015 album Braxton Cook Meets Butcher Brown brought him to festivals and venues across the country, and his newly formed band The N.E.W. will be touring nationally this year to support the release of his upcoming album, Somewhere in Between.