Melody-driven, distinctively reflective, and one of the most eclectic jazz outings of the new year, Battle Mountain stands as New York-based saxophonist Ben Flocks’ auspicious debut. In a quintet setting, Flocks traverses over a wide musical terrain with an 11-song collection of lyrical and deep-grooved originals, time-honored standards rendered in fresh arrangements, a twist on the Bob Dylan “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” pop gem, a re-imagined, romantic version of the Buena Vista Social Club tune “Murmullo,” and sublime and true-to-the-melody renderings of two tunes from the country/folk repertoire: “Shenandoah” and “Tennessee Waltz.”
Firmly grounded in the jazz tradition, Flocks also infuses his music with touches of Americana, country and blues. As such, Battle Mountain—which he says is “dedicated to the wonder and mystery of California”—promises surprises around every bend.
"In a jazz sea positively overflowing with darting and sprinting and flat-out-ferocious young tenor saxophonists, Ben Flocks is one to catch. Ben's approach is patient, passionate, forthright, kind. He doesn't dazzle with flurries of notes or overwhelm with a tsunami of technique. But he may yet make some of the widest and longest lasting waves. More importantly, he's diving deep. Ben's sound seeks the heart of the matter, the soul of things."
- Joshua Redman
"It's not every day that a young badass on their instrument makes an album as unpretentious, genuine, melody-driven, and fun to listen to...one can hear California in the album a mile away."
"Ben Flocks is one of the most talented musicians I've met. His organic approach to improvising and creative spirit is truly inspiring. Ben plays with a soulfulness and maturity that's beyond his years and I'm excited to see him continue to develop his voice."
"Your sound and the sound of the band has such a richness to it, and a clear direction and sense of love and respect for each other and the music...really such a joy to listen to, you guys are radiating!"