Benn Bacot "The Bass Of The Bay"
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Benn Bacot "The Bass Of The Bay"

San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2000

San Francisco, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2000
Band Jazz Adult Contemporary

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Published: 2012-07-04

Q: When did you decide to become a singer?

A: My very first memories are of standing in front of the radio, singing and listening to the music. It has always been a part of who I am from the very beginning. I didn't choose it; it chose me!

Q: Was jazz always your primary music of choice?

A: No. I have sung many different types of music over the years from choral music to R&B and musical theater. About 16 years ago a friend gave me a copy of a CD of duets by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. All of the songs were in good keys for me. I started humming along and realized that I enjoyed those songs and began to seek more of the same by listening to other greats like Sara Vaughn, Joe Williams, Johnny Hartman, Billy Eckstine, and many others.

Q: Growing up, what vocalists influenced you the most?

A: My original influence to sing was a man who lead the choir at church, Brother Jack Morgan, who had a voice that would bring the house down. I watched and saw how with his voice he could create joy or sorrow. How he held the whole church in the palm of his hand with a song. I'm a kid of the Motown age so early professional influences was listening to folks like the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Temptations, which had the world's greatest bassist Melvin Franklin, and many others from the era.

Q: What made you decide to choose the covers on your latest record?

A: Over the last two years I have had the privilege to headline once a month at the Savanna Jazz Club in San Francisco. The majority of the songs are from that experience, taking the material that the audiences most enjoyed and fleshing them out with more complete orchestrations and arrangements.

Q: Where were you born, and where did you grow up? Were your parents supportive of your musical career?

A: I was born and grew up in McComb, Mississippi, a city that gave the world Bo Diddley, Britney Spears, and Brandy, to name a few. My mom was a nurse who worked nights 11 to 7 so she didn't get to make many performances but I still to this day am motivated by her words, “Anything you desire is possible if you believe and put your mind to it." my dad was a man's man who loved to fish and hunt. He was a foreman for the city and drove backhoes and bulldozers. Even he believed that I would leave home destined for great things.

Q: Did you receive any formal training to become a singer? How did you learn?

A: I was in church and high school choirs and once on my own realizing that I had the basics but no real technique, I studied at the Blue Bear School Of Music in San Francisco with Bobby McFerrin protege Raz Kennedy taking solo classes.

Q: How you describe the jazz scene in San Francisco?

A: The scene there for jazz is a slowly thriving one. Not many clubs or opportunities but they are there. I've been fortunate to have a regular spot at Savanna Jazz which has been designated a “Top Jazz Venue" in the U.S. by Downbeat magazine. Group shows and special appearances also help to keep things movin'.

Q: Do you perform live often? How would you describe the experience of singing in front of an audience as opposed to being alone in a studio?

A: As many times as I can I hit the stage for live performing takes it to the next level. You have the song which affects the audience whose energy comes across and motivates me to give more. It's a give and take relationship, growing and building with each song. In the studio it's just you and the song; with good material creating the mood and experience to give a good performance can be easy. But you have to be prepared and know your material to be able to emote the feelings of the song.

(Wavelength Radio Promotion would like to dedicate this interview to the memory of Benn Bacot's mother, Mrs. Audrey Elizabeth Bonds. We extend our deepest sympathies to her loving family.)

- All About Jazz


Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound & image. There’s something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever “it” is – they all seem to have “it”.

Today I listened to the latest CD from San Francisco based Jazz Vocalist Benn Bacot & his quartet entitled Stolen Moments (2012). Venturing to his website I get the impression this is one artist that is extremely experienced and passionate about music. From start to finish this CD from Bacot delivers and is a very entertaining musical experience overall. It has a very warm and inviting Contemporary Jazz quality to it, and even dabbles in classic Vocal Jazz and Big Band Jazz. It also reminds me of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Hartman, and more modern Andy Bey. Any fans of any of these artists will enjoy this latest release from Bacot and his quartet. It’s clearly marketed for those who enjoy a low but soothing Jazz Baritone vocal front. I get the impression Bacot and company are letting it all hang out via this compelling 12 track line up. All songs are priceless classic Jazz covers and my hats off to Bacot for hand picking such an amazing collection of music. My favorite tracks are (If I Were You) (Baltimore Oriole) and the title track. Within each one of these pieces Bacot offers up his own unique musical interpretation of each piece and bares his soul delivering what I would call pure musical mojo. It offers much in the way of passion and compelling-thought provoking lyrical content. The playing from Bacot’s quartet is spot on and just makes the whole CD even more enjoyable. The overall vibe of the production is very uplifting and cheerful with pockets of hope shining through.

I see Benn Bacot as a polished Jazz Singer/Artist. Bacot possesses an amazing amount of experience, wisdom and rock solid musical instincts behind the microphone or in front of a crowd. The strong suit Stolen Moments is the way Bacot makes all these classics his very own. No doubt he has huge shoes to fill in this territory but pulls it off flawlessly..

URL – http://www.bennbacot.com/
Purchase Stolen Moments on CD BABY – http://www.bennbacot.com/

Michael Morrison
West Lothian, Scotland (UK)


- SKOPE


Artist: Benn Bacot & The Bacot Quartet

Album: Stolen Moments

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://www.bennbacot.com/

Genre: Vocal Jazz, Contemporary Jazz

Sounds Like: Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams, Johnny Hartmann, Nat King Cole

Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills/Interpretation: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Tenderly, They Raided the Joint, Stolen Moments

Weakness: Retail Non-Compatibility


CD REVIEW:



San Francisco based Jazz vocalist Benn Bacot just released his latest CD entitled Stolen Moments in 2012. Reading from his bio: Smooth, layed back, straight ahead, swingin jazz is how we choose to look at it. Dubbed "Retro Nouveau" it's a style of taking the old "Retro" and making it new "Nouveau". Of breathing new life into the familiar. And finding new material that strongly reflects the quality and standards of a by gone era. With a tight band that can turn on a dime it becomes easy to make each of these tunes a "Stolen Moment" in time.



The CD kicks things off with “If I Were You” a cool upbeat intro piece serving up steady beat, melodic jazz ambience and smooth as silk vocals from Bacot. Track 2 “Tenderly” is an impressive follow up statement serving up impressive jazz piano accents, well placed horn section against thought provoking lyrical content and more honey coated vocals from Bacot. Track 3 “Misty” dishes out a brilliant orchestral piece with eloquent strings and mesmerizing musical flow coupled with heartfelt vocal delivery from Bacot that flows and ebbs its way though to emotional fruition. The music itself has a jazz vibe reminiscent of classic Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams, Johnny Hartmann and a dash of Nat King Cole. As this CD slowly unfolds its obvious the players in Bacot’s band are quite accomplished. All horn section touches extremely melodic, the drummer pushes the natural accents perfectly and the silky rhythm section clearly gives this production a solid backbone. Make no bones about it this is classic Vocal Jazz. What I like the most about this band grooves together – testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. There is a plethora of musical instrumentation featured here including Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Jazz Piano, and Flute. Some pieces even venture into Saloon Jazz. Now turning our attention over to Bacot, as for his vocal abilities - he fits perfectly into this Jazz genera - like a glove. Yep this is clearly where he belongs. His voice goes down smooth and his deep rich Baritone is to die for. Like the aforementioned; he fills the Jazz space flawlessly. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. Bacot delivers 12 classic tracks all providing deep, thought provoking wisdom with messages that are uplifting and positive. From jumping “Havin’ a Wonderful Winter” to grooving “They Raided the Joint” and Good Old Wagon” to heartfelt “Stolen Moments” this CD pretty much has something for everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 ”Old Man River” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.




I normally dedicate this paragraph to any serious weaknesses found with the Musical Presentation. As you can see I have nothing worth mentioning. However I did Notice there was no barcode on the flipside of the CD indicating a retail non-compatibility.



After spending some quality time with Benn Bacot & The Bacot Quartet I simply abandoned all hopes of finding any weakness. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed. Let me go on record and say Stolen Moments is a world class musical production from start to finish. There’s not a weak song on this entire catalogue period! These 12 Tracks are timeless gems. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the singing abilities of Bacot are world class. Benn Bacot is an artist worthy of attention, spotlight, and praise. Everything about Bacot screams talent and professionalism and she is the real deal, and it's just a matter of time before artists like him reach critical acclaim on an international level. I guess I could go on and on all night about Benn Bacot you simply have got to get your hands on some of his music and see what I am talking about. You should start with Stolen Moments.

Cyrus Rhodes

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

THE MAN

Bay Area Jazz Cabaret artist Benn Bacot hails from the deep south of Mississippi and adds a bit of soulful flavor to the music he performs from the American Songbook. A lyrical bass with a rich resonance, he is known as "The Bass Of The Bay!"
He has co-host one of San Francisco's longest running open mics, The Song Of The Month Club, at Martuni's
He has been seen on most of the major stages in the SF area including Hotel Nikko's Rrazz Room.

THE MUSIC

Smooth, laid-back, straight ahead, swingin' jazz - dubbed "Retro Nouveau" a style of taking the old and making it new; of breathing new life into the familiar and finding new material that strongly reflects the quality and standards of a by gone era.

THE BAND

Headlining at SF's Savanna Jazz Club, Bacot is backed by The Bacot Quartet with David Austin, piano, Chuck Bennett, bass, Bob Blankenship, drums, & Madaline Duran, sax & flute.
Bacot recently released his 4th independent CD "Stolen Moments" a collection of standards from the American Songbook. It has been described by the critics as 'world class", " pure musical mojo", "low but soothing", honey-coated", Mr. Bacot is looking forward to sharing this wonderful music with a wider audience.

Band Members