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Ben Flocks: Battle Mountain

Vincenzo Roggero By

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L'ispirazione per la musica contenuta in Battle Mountain—è lo stesso Ben Flocks a rivelarlo nelle note di copertina—arriva dalla grandiosa natura delle Santa Cruz Mountains, zona incontaminata della California nella quale Oceano Pacifico, rocce granitiche, colline rigogliose danno vita ad un paesaggio affascinante e misterioso.

Il secondo brano—il traditional "Shenandoah"—e "Silver City Bound" dai field song di Alan Lomax—ci forniscono ulteriori indizi sul tipo di musica proposta dal ventiquatrenne musicista ora residente a Brooklyn ma originario proprio di quei posti.

Siamo in piena Americana, con Bill Frisell sullo sfondo, il blues che affiora qua e là, un Bob Dylan d'annata in una splendida versione di "Don't Think Twice It's Alright," un po' di country, e, perché no, uno standard come "Polkadots and Moonbeams."

L'abilità di Flocks più che nell'assemblare materiale sì eterogeneo ma tutto profondamente ancorato alla tradizione popolare, sta nel rivestirlo di una specificità sonora da band matura. Il sax del leader è fluido e inventivo nel fraseggio, caldo e potente nell'emissione, dal timbro ora vellutato ora abrasivo ma sopratutto è guida sicura e propellente ideale per il contributo dei compagni di viaggio.

E i due brani originali che aprono e chiudono l'album sono piccoli gioielli di buon gusto, sonorità accattivanti, capacità di trasformare semplici melodie in narrazione mai banale, di evocare paesaggi sonori tra sogno e realtà.

Gran bel debutto.

Track Listing: Battle Mountain; Shenandoah; Don't Think Twice It's Alright; Eagle rock; Murmullo; Silver City Bound; Polkadots and Moonbeams; Boardwalk Boogaloo; Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You; Tennessee Waltz; Return to Battle Mountain.

Personnel: Ben Flocks: tenor saxophone; Ari Chersky: guitar; Evan Hughes: drums; Garret Lang: bass; Sam Reider: piano, Rhodes, accordion.

Title: Battle Mountain | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


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