February 18, 2014

Artist to Watch: Ben Flocks

If jazz is your thing, then I have just the album for you. If jazz isn’t your thing, I still have just the album for you. Regardless of whether you listen to blues, Americana, folk, and/or jazz music, I have just the album for you.

Ben Flocks, a Brooklyn-based saxophonist from Santa Cruz, dropped his debut album last week entitled, Battle Mountain. 

This album is influenced mainly by his hometown state: California. And if you tell me that listening to this album doesn’t remind you of the long beaches, green forests or urbanized landscapes of California, then you probably need to listen again.

After the album’s powerful title track, Flocks takes his listeners down into a tranquil, ethereal state. Then, he brings the energy back up and throws a spin by adding an accordion in “Silver City Bound.” He completes this album with “Return to Battle Mountain.”

Through and through, Flocks maintains his soulful, compelling tone, which I believe to be the most capturing component of this album. It’s no wonder that the LA Times described Battle Mountain as “soulful” and “heartfelt”.

My favorite tunes off of Battle Mountain are “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright,” “Boardwalk Boogaloo,” and “Return To Battle Mountain.”

This 24-year-old wonder continues to find different ways to inspire me. He is my favorite tenor saxophonist. Hands down. The soul that can be heard in his tone and melodic phrasing never ceases to amaze me. Check out his album here.


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