One of the most amazing things about music is that always seems to come full circle. Even with all the advanced technology and studio tricks, the basics of a musical genre will always show their roots. A true student of music, such as our recent discovery Pascal Bokar, will find a way to immerse both the past and future of a musical style into one beautiful sound.
The guitarist, composer, vocalist, and bandleader has enjoyed quite a diverse journey in his own life that he transfers into his unique sound. Pascal Bokar was born in Paris, France, raised in Mali and Senegal, and has now been a longtime resident of San Francisco, California. This unique upbringing helped him develop an impressive array of musical influences. The Pascal Bokar sound is a melding of the traditional American Jazz genre with its roots in traditional African music. His personal reach into both genres of music has created a deep cultural connection that he shares throughout his song catalog.
To be even more a part if the music scene, Pascal Bokar also owns and manages the Savanna Jazz club in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Carlos, CA. The venue has blessed him with even more influences and allowed him the opportunity to play with a dazzling array of outstanding musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Haynes, Donald Byrd, and for several years, Donald ‘Duck’ Bailey. Pascal had many conversations with Dizzy Gillespie about re-introducing African rhythms and textures into American jazz and popular music. This would go on to be one of Bokar’s greatest influences.
Pascal Bokar Brings Roots To American Jazz
The latest record from Pascal Bokar is the impressive American Shores. The 5 track album has been coined “AfroBlueGrazz” by the album’s producer Greg Landau. The fusion of relatable yet exotic textures is something that only Pascal’s unique musical journey could have brought forth. From the interesting vocal sounds of the opener “So Much More” you know you are in for something different. As the elegant beat is laid down to relax your soul, seemingly random instruments are added to put additional layers into the song. The velvet singing voice will relax any parts of your body that still had an ounce of strain.
There is a more pronounced bluegrass tone to “If you Come With Me” as the plucked strings create the background. The sweet vocals of Pascal Bokar stand out once again. There is a lot going on here demanding multiple listens to the track. “So Long” continues this vibe adding in some country, R&B, and even some funk to the mix.
Some exotic instruments come into play on “Don’t Let It Go”. Somehow Pascal Bokar blends them all together into one sonic tapestry that is just pure beauty. The production is amazing here as well. The album closes with “Sunny Day” and it’s positive feel to leave us all with a smile on our face even as we yearn for more music.
This feeling we are left with is what music is truly meant to do. Dive into more music and find a performance by this amazing artist on his WEBSITE.