RELEASE: WAX POETICS 2015
The Jack Moves is a Newark duo consisting of singer and multi-instrumentalist Zee Desmondes and drummer/producer Teddy Powell.
Previously to forming the Jack Moves, Zee and Teddy met in New York’s legendary skate hangout Tompkins Square Park and bonded through a shared love of music—Wu-Tang Clan and Lowrider Oldies, among other sounds. Teddy, who was a professional skater, was making beats using obscure soul sides. After messing around on the mic one night with Teddy’s beats, Zee had the idea to form a group and write some of their own soul songs.
After playing a few shows downtown, they recorded and self-released a 45 of the Ledgends classic “Fool for You,” backed with an original composition, “Kiss in the Dark.” After biking around NYC and pawning them off on a few local record haunts, the response generated enough buzz in the new-soul vinyl community to attract the attention of Wax Poetics Records and the confidence to take it more seriously and keep recording.
With this new knowledge in place and Newark as their cultural backdrop, they began writing their own material that would speak to the timeless nature of soul music, but a music that was of its time. Zee delivers a falsetto reminiscent of some of blue-eyed soul’s greats Daryl Hall and Bobby Caldwell, while Teddy—who has placed beats on G-Unit and U-God projects—provides a steady, aggressive hip-hop-inspired bottom that propels the music forward. It’s an amalgamation of many styles and influences, spanning ’60s and ’70s soul, ’90s hip-hop, L.A.’s lowrider scene, and today’s millennial skate and streetwear communities.
“It started out very much about ‘Let’s try to replicate this old music,’ ” Zee says. “But I think where we’re at now, and where we’ve arrived at with this first album, is that we still want to do something new. We don’t want to just bow down at the temple of those who’ve come before us; we want to do our part to carry the torch further. To put the ‘now’ into it, to make something new. Because we don’t just love soul music; we love hip-hop, we like rock, lots of indie bands—so it’s about taking all of those influences and making something unique out of it.”
Their debut was released on Wax Poetics Records