CD REVIEW: Benn Bacot - Stolen Moments
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Benn Bacot & The Bacot Quartet
Album: Stolen Moments
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Vocal Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Sounds Like: Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams, Johnny Hartmann, Nat King Cole
Weakness: Retail Non-Compatibility
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.