Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’
On August 5th Benn Bacot made his sensational debut backed by six wonderful jazz musicians at Feinstein’s at the Hotel Nikko before an appreciative audience. Benn has been called “The Bass of the Bay” and rightly so since he has a deep, rich baritone voice. He reminds me of the late legendary Billy Eckstine with a little of Joe Williams and a dash of Nat King Cole thrown in. He fits perfectly into this jazz generation with his laid back smooth vocal cords that are a joy to hear.
On August 5th he regaled the audience with thirteen eclectic songs ranging from the modern jazz sound of “Living Room” to the pulsating rhythms of the African Suite (All Africa, Freedom Day and Africa) and the powerful rendition of Jerome Kern’s “Old Man River” to the lively “Sometimes I’m Happy”. He was very laid back pulling each song off flawlessly.
Some of songs were from his most recent album entitled “4 Love of Abbey” a salute to that great lady of jazz Abbey Lincoln. His opening songs were “Living Room” and “The Music Is the Magic” both written by Abbey. Both had harmonic exuberance in style back by the outstanding solos David Austin on piano (his musical director), Madeline Duran on sax, Rick Brown on trombone, Bob Blankenship on drums and Chuck Bennitt on bass. Benn was pitch perfect in the songs “Softly as in the Morning Sunrise”, “Brother Where are You” and “Throw It Away”. He gave a potent rendition of the “African Suite” with David Austin on bongo drums. He was magnificent singing with his deep baritone voice sounding a lot like the great Paul Robinson “Old Man River”. His rendition of “Down Here Below” was absolutely incredible which affected me deeply due to my recent loss. As an encore he did a rocking arrangement of “The Jitterbug Waltz”.
All in all the musicianship was first rate, the songs were short and sweet musical experience each on possessing a inimitable character and skill. For a complete line of upcoming artists at Feinstein’s at the Nikko go to http://www.hotelnikkosf.com/feinsteins.aspx