There is a reason why the bass and saxophone melodies Nelson and Wayne Braxton aka The Braxton Brothers write are so lyrical. They compose by writing lyrics first, a unique twist for an R&B-jazz instrumental twosome that uses vocals on only two of the twelve new songs they wrote and produced for their sixth album, “Higher,” which drops August 24 from Braxton Productions.
“Yes, it is a different way of writing for instrumentalists, but for us, first and foremost, we never want to be background music. The purpose of our music is bigger. We feel that we have a higher responsibility. New music and new melodies move through us, giving people a reason to feel joy, have a good time, free them from stress, anxiety and problems; and show the listener love,” said Nelson Braxton, who worked on the album during his global travels while taking in views of the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, The English Channel, The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
Focused on their penchant for crafting irresistible melodies, The Braxton Brothers’ message is a higher love. Preceding the album release is the high-energy, feel-good first single, “The Only Woman In The World,” which ships to radio and goes for radio playlist adds in late July. Nelson, a bassist, wrote the exuberant song around 3am on a guitar during a Minnesota blizzard while on a tour bus passing the hours before he could call his wife back home. Such stories are typical of The Braxton Brothers’ inspirations. They describe their recordings as “photos that document our lives.” Nelson’s supple basslines and Wayne’s gregarious tenor and alto sax share euphonic, evocative tales of elated reunion (“Back In My Arms”); inner beauty vs. outer facades (“Beauty”); pursuing goals with faith (“Where I Wanna Be”); finding satisfaction in being loved (“Just To Be Loved”); the encouragement to look up when you’re down in a dark place (“What Would I Do”); and the comforting reassurance of having a loved one close and present (“I’ll Be Here”).
The Braxton Brothers hitch their rich, indelible harmonies to funky R&B grooves, dynamic pop-rock rhythms, sensually soulful urban beats and breezy reggae vibes. Nelson, a longtime touring member of Michael Bolton’s band, flexes his dexterous multi-instrumental prowess on “Higher” via bass (rhythm and lead), keyboards, percussion, drum programming, electric and acoustic guitar. Wayne, who has a history of working with Sheila E., handles saxophones, drum programming and background vocals. Chris Camozzi, Errol Cooney, Kay-Ta Matsuno, Ryan Parrino and Andy Quinn spike the tracks with electric and acoustic guitar.
“Higher” is a return to the smooth and contemporary jazz sandbox The Braxton Brothers are best known for playing in. Their last such outing was 2004’s “Rollin’,” which cemented their presence as genre staples on radio playlists, national charts and concert stages. The duo that debuted with 1996’s “Steppin’ Out” explored a decidedly different path on their last offering, the jazzy acoustic R&B set “True Love” (2013). They are currently planning an album release concert celebration around their September birthday in San Diego where they are based. Along with designing a show they describe as “new level,” they’re lensing videos for selections from the new album.
“Shooting videos allows us to share more about ourselves and allows people to connect with the music more deeply,” said Wayne Braxton. “After growing, maturing and preparing, we reconnect with our roots on ‘Higher.’ Our songs are about the melody, not just a vibe, and this album is full of fun, memorable melodies. A vital aspect of our music has always been about the ability to move and impact people, to touch them…touch their hearts. We are conduits for the music. It’s not for us to figure out the meaning of it. That’s up to each listener. ‘Higher’ is about love on a higher level. Can we love on a higher level?”
The Braxton Brothers’ “Higher” contains the following songs:
“The Only Woman In The World”
“You Care About Me”
"Back In My Arms”
“Something In My Heart”
“Because Of You”
“A Stronger Love”
“Where I Wanna Be”
“Just To Be Loved”
“What Would I Do”
“I’ll Be Here”
For more information, please visit https://www.thebraxtonbrothers.com.
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Peace, love, hope & joy,