Busty and the Bass are putting out some fine music, and combined their tour with school visits across North America – at least until the pandemic forced them to stay at home in Canada.
The eight-piece jazz-funk collective’s work has included an album in 2017 and their recent ‘Kids’ EP which features Parliament-Funkadelic collective icon George Clinton on the track ‘Baggy Eyed Dopeman’.
Trumpeter Scott Bevins is particularly proud of the way their EP has been seen across the world including that track’s premiere on the Billboard website.
Scott said: “We’re thrilled by the response we’ve gotten. We had an opportunity to make music with George Clinton, one of the most influential and legendary figures in the last 100 years of popular music. It’s surreal.”
The band are proud of the noise they make as an eight-piece on stage.
“We’re committed to being a horizontal collective where no one is really in charge, but we all lead and follow each other in different ways and settings,” Scott said. “The tricky part is not stepping on each other’s toes, expressing yourself and leaving space for the others.”
Not content with that though, they’ve also included friends on strings, backing vocals and percussion, as well as adding guest vocalists for the first time.
Scott said: “As we became more comfortable with our creative identity and expressing ourselves as a group it just made sense to reach out more and start including more people. It’s always fun to bring a new person and fresh energy into our wacky musical ecosystem.”
The ‘Kids’ EP is a progression from their 2017 debut album ‘Uncommon Good’.
Scott said: “We’ve learned a lot since then. It’s not always about learning more information but knowing the same thing in a deeper way. This band has been a place where I’ve learned a lot about friendship, love, creativity, and communication, and all the lessons are ongoing.
“Right now my energy is going towards learning to have fun being myself, and being fearless about it while still being kind. I have a lot to learn.”
As well as learning themselves, they’re also eager to promote music education to children, visiting schools across Canada and the USA to encourage young people to make their own racket.
Scott said: “Probably the best thing we can do as musicians is inspire other people to create. Having an avenue of creative expression is a beautiful thing to carry with you through life, totally regardless of if there’s money or a career attached to it. We just hope to inspire people to discover that for themselves, and especially kids who might not know how fun it is to jam out on some instruments.
“At a young age if music connects with you, it can be a profound experience of awe and inspiration that you can carry with you the rest of your life. For myself, those experiences happened in my early teen years, and the connection I feel now to music is at its core the same feeling I felt then.
“When I was in the sixth grade, my older cousin brought me to see Green Day at a stadium when they were touring ‘American Idiot’. It was absolutely kickass. Also my parents were bringing me to tons of local jazz shows and classical symphony concerts in the Hartford area. I remember wearing my ‘American Idiot’ shirt when I saw [jazz trumpet legend] Clark Terry.”
This fusion of jazz and rock has held on throughout, and will undoubtedly hold Busty and the Bass in good stead as they continue their work in the studio, in schools and on tour.
You can watch their mini-documentary on school visits on YouTube
Download or stream ‘Kids’ here