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Vocal Jazz - Released November 1, 2010 | Bonsaï Music

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Vocal Jazz - Released November 28, 2018 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Go Jazz

Booklet
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
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Go Jazz

Booklet
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
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Pop/Rock - Released March 26, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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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
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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
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1986 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Go Jazz

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

Booklet
Ben Sidran's musical persona has always been one of cool-cat hipster, talk-singing his songs in a style reminiscent of his mentor, Mose Allison. On the Cool Side was one of his more commercially viable solo releases, finding an audience in the small coterie of contemporary jazz stations in the mid-'80s. The title track is a classic of the genre, an upbeat, joyous affirmation of life, featuring a backing vocal from old pal Steve Miller. Sidran's take on "Lover Man" adds a whole new funky dimension to that oft-recorded warhorse, as do his versions of "Heat Wave" and "Up a Lazy River," the latter featuring Dr. John on second vocal. The music on this recording is heavily electronicized, with programmed drums, synthesized riffs, and Fender Rhodes piano, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun. And, you'll find yourself walking down the street singing "keep on searching, keep it on the cool side" with a big smile on your face. ~ Jim Newsom
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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
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Go Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Go Jazz

Booklet
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Go Jazz

Booklet
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Go Jazz

Booklet
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Verve Records