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Vocal Jazz - Released November 1, 2010 | Bonsaï Music

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Pop/Rock - Released March 29, 1977 | Legacy Recordings

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Go Jazz

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Groove-oriented jazz didn't start with the organ combos and soul-jazz groups of the '60s and '70s; plenty of grooving occurred with Dixieland in the '10s and '20s and swing in the '30s and early to mid-'40s. But soul-jazz did remind the jazz world that it was still OK for an improviser to groove -- that not everything had to be as complex and demanding as John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" or Sonny Rollins' "Oleo." And those soul-jazz and jazz-funk grooves of the '60s and '70s continue to hold up well after all these years, which is why Ben Sidran celebrates that era on this 2003 date. Although Sidran is known for his singing, he favors an instrumental setting on Nick's Bump; this time, Sidran uses the Hammond organ and the electric piano to get his points across -- and he savors the funkier side of post-swing jazz whether he is embracing Sonny Clark's "Blue Minor," Donald Byrd's "Black Jack," or three Eddie Harris compositions ("Listen Here," "Mean Greens," and "Cryin' Blues"). If Nick's Bump sounds dated, it is dated in the positive sense -- dated as in remembering how rewarding a particular era was and being faithful to the spirit of that era. Nick's Bump recalls a time when soul-jazz players realized that jazz was losing more and more listeners to R&B and rock -- and that the only way to win over those Marvin Gaye, Rolling Stones, and James Brown fans was to groove and be accessible. Soul-jazz, unfortunately, didn't restore the mass appeal that jazz enjoyed during the Great Depression and World War II, but it was a noble effort -- one that Sidran happily remembers on Nick's Bump, which falls short of essential but is still an infectious, enjoyably funky demonstration of what he can do in an instrumental setting. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 13, 2017 | Nardis Music

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Go Jazz

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A '91 CD release of author/composer/instrumentalist and sometime producer and television host Ben Sidran's most jazz-oriented date. He was paired with a fine group that included alto saxophonist Phil Woods, Mike Manieri on vibes, guitarist Steve Khan, and a rhythm section of bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Peter Erskine. They didn't stick to one thing; there were songs covering light fusion, mainstream, pop, originals, and standards. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Go Jazz

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Jazz - Released April 2, 2013 | Nardis Music - Unlimited Media, Ltd.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1971 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Released in 1971, Feel Your Groove was Ben Sidran's debut solo album, released on Capitol -- the same imprint as the Steve Miller Band. Sidran and Miller went back more than a decade before that as friends and collaborators, first in the Ardells in Madison, WI, and later in the Steve Miller Band. Sidran was not an original member, but played piano, wrote songs, and did production work for the SMB for several years. Feel Your Groove was the very beginning of a long, quirky, varied, and sometimes puzzling series of albums that embraced everything from jazz to rhythm & blues to rock to soul and even disco. The set was produced by Sidran and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, and features a host of old and new friends, like former Steve Miller bandmates Curley Cooke and Boz Scaggs, jazz trumpeter Blue Mitchell (who would collaborate with Sidran until his death), string arranger Nick DeCaro, Mimi Fariña, Charlie Watts, Jim Keltner, Willie Ruff, and Peter Frampton and Greg Ridley of Humble Pie! The music ranges from dirty-assed rock and R&B numbers like "Poor Girl," with Davis laying down the distorted funk, Sidran playing both the B-3 and electric piano, and a smoking, buzzy bassline by Arnold Rosenthal. It also has two drummers in Keltner and Gary Mallaber. This is one of those cuts that Sidran may never play again, but it's amazing and a wonder that the breaks and B-3 interludes have never been sampled. The title cut, which he would re-record for Free in America five years later, is a perfect example of his trademark sound and lyric style: Sidran's manner lies in catching the subtle, juxtaposing it against the obvious with a clever, wry sense of humor, and marrying it to a laid-back, fingerpopping beat with a jazzy groove that offers both his tattered barfly elegance, his supreme sense of cool, and his very human set of emotions. This also happens in the bluesier, much more cynical "Racine Bovine." The funkier side of his subtle but sophisticated and intimate lounge act demeanor is inherent in "About Love," with Cooke's funky guitar groove and the Rhodes piano fills. "Alexander's Rag Time Band," with Mitchell's trumpet bumping up against a B-3 treated with a distortion pedal and Cooke wailing on the guitar, brings 1960s Blue Note soul-jazz to the early Prestige and Mainstream Records funk of the '70s, bridged by a hard bopper's sense of time in placing Mitchell's solo in exactly the right spot. The other notable thing about Sidran is his vocal style. While his voice has never been exceptional in terms of its actual quality, he uses it so musically, with enough reserve, restraint, and savvy in his phrasing, that it's a delight to listen to. It comes in equal parts from Mose Allison, Mark Murphy, the hepcat swing of Babs Gonzales, and the cool of June Christy. Check out the cut "Try," with a wonderful bassline by Ruff, amazingly colorful strings by DeCaro, and Mitchell's bluesed-out trumpet. Feel Your Groove isn't a perfect album, but it is a very fine one, and offers proof that Sidran was already in full possession of his gifts as a writer, producer and arranger. His sense of direction is more focused here than it was on some of his subsequent early-'70s outings, but that means nothing: he's made a career out of his restlessness, his sense of perfectionism, and his polymath's ease of execution. This set holds up amazingly well in the 21st century, and proves itself a welcome and profound portent of things to come. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Go Jazz

Booklet
Competent fusion and light jazz outing from vocalist/composer and keyboardist (as well as journalist and broadcaster) Ben Sidran. He sings and plays in sometimes pleasing, other times inconsequential fashion, while the songs are expertly produced and casually performed. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1986 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Go Jazz

Booklet
Ben Sidran's The Concert for García Lorca -- recorded in the late poet's homeland of Spain -- stands apart from virtually everything else in Sidran's already very diverse catalog. Not only is the packaging on this set beautiful (it's hardbound in a book with extensive notes and lush artwork), but Sidran's devotion to Lorca's work is total. He uses his own monologues about Lorca as well as the late poet's own words to reflect what he represents as an artist. They are parts of a magical meld moving from one selection to another, blurring present and past, art and humanity, the political and the social. Sidran's accompanists include tenor saxophonist Bobby Martinez, with that big warm tenor sound of his, as well as Manuel Calleja on bass and brother Leo Sidran on drums. The flow through tunes by Mose Allison ("Look Here") and George Gershwin ("It Ain't Necessarily So") into the theme of the concert is clever without being cloying or pretentious. The gig is full of an acute sense of timing -- especially when the band weaves its way into famous works by Lorca such as "On Duende" and "Defeating Death" as the pianist takes off into his own readings. Sidran's impeccable hipness in these dramatic juxtapositions also places several other standards, including "Lover Man" and "Freedom Jazz Dance," against the late poet's works and his autobiography Poet in New York to reflect his passion for his time spent in America and for American jazz. This is not only a fitting tribute to Federico García Lorca, but it is also a shining, truly original portrait of a very literate jazzman who has plenty of tricks and wonders up his sleeve, more than three decades after he began. Highly recommended if you can find it. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Vocal Jazz - Released November 28, 2018 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | Go Jazz

Booklet
Ben Sidran's most fully realized recording, Cool Paradise brings the sound he'd been working on since On the Cool Side five years earlier to full bloom. Utilizing the working band he'd been playing with over that period, Sidran achieves a smooth blend of traditionally structured jazz colored with contemporary textures. Bobby Mallach's sax work is especially appealing, and Sidran's singing, still cool and relaxed, sounds better than ever. The compositions, most by Sidran himself, are compelling, and the sonic clarity of the recording is a pleasure to listen to. With arrangements reminiscent of Al Jarreau in his popular heyday, and a vocal style that crosses Michael Franks with Mose Allison, it's surprising that Sidran hasn't become better known in pop and contemporary jazz circles. © Jim Newsom /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | GoJazz

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Jazz - Released July 7, 1986 | GoJazz Records

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Go Jazz

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"...There is a friendly glow to the set..." © TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Go Jazz

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Jazz - Released May 1, 2015 | Nardis Music