Ben Sidran – Old Songs For The New Depression (1982)

LPFrontCover1Ben Hirsh Sidran (born August 14, 1943) is an American jazz and rock keyboardist, producer, label owner, and music writer. Early in his career he was a member of the Steve Miller Band.

Sidran was raised in Racine, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1961, where he became a member of The Ardells with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs. When Miller and Scaggs left Wisconsin for the West Coast, Sidran stayed behind to earn a degree in English literature. After graduating in 1966, he enrolled in the University of Sussex, England, to pursue a PhD. While in England, he was a session musician for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, and Charlie Watts.

Sidran joined Steve Miller as keyboardist and songwriter on recording projects, appearing on the albums Brave New World, Your Saving Grace, Number 5, and Recall the Beginning…A Journey from Eden. He produced Recall the Beginning and co-wrote the hit song “Space Cowboy.” In 1988, he produced Miller’s jazz album Born 2B Blue. He has also produced albums for Mose Allison, Van Morrison, Rickie Lee Jones, and Diana Ross.

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Sidran returned to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1971 and has spent most of his life there. He taught courses at the university (on the business of music) and beginning in 1981 hosted jazz radio programs for NPR (including the Peabody Award-winning Jazz Alive series) and TV programs for VH1 (where his New Visions series in the early 1990s won the Ace Award).[2] Talking Jazz, a collection of his historic interviews with jazz musicians, There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream, a cultural history of the Jewish contribution to American popular music during the 20th century and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award and The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma.

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His 24-CD box set Talking Jazz includes an 80-page booklet with essays from writers, critics and musicians, classic photos from Lee Tanner, and 24 compact discs featuring conversations with 60 jazz musicians, recorded during a five-year period for Sidran’s award-winning NPR program Sidran on Record. The 24 CDs orchestrated by Sidran document the speaking voice of jazz musicians, including Miles Davis, Art Blakey, and others.

Sidran has been referred to by the Chicago Sun Times as a “Renaissance man cast adrift in a modern world” and by The Times as “the first existential jazz rapper,” in reference to his commentary while playing music.

A complete compendium of Sidran’s work, live gigs, videos, productions, interviews and writings can be found at bensidran.com.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Ben Sidran among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. (wikipedia)

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And here´s another pretty good album by Ben Sidran:

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)

That´s cool Jazz … with a big bow for Mose Allison !

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Personnel:
Jerry Alexander (background vocals)
Richie Cole (saxophone)
Bobby Malach (saxophone)
Marcus Miller (bass)
Ben Sidran (vocals, piano)
Buddy Williams (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Let’s Get Away From It All (Dennis/Adair) 4.20
02. Easy Street (Jones) 4.22
03. Old Folks (Hill/Robinson) 5.26
04. Turn To The Music (Sidran) 5.01
05. Steady Eddie (Sidran) 4.49
06. Making Whoopie (Kahn/Donaldson) 3.08
07. Piano Players (Sidran) 2.17
08. Dark Night (Sidran) 4.28
09. Nostalgia In Times Square (Mingus) 3.50

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The frontcover from Japan:
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More from Ben Sidran:
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Bruce Katz Band – A Deeper Blue (2004)

FrontCover1Bruce Katz (born August 19, 1952) is an American musician, playing piano, organ and bass guitar. From 1996 to 2010, he was on the faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as an associate professor. He founded his own musical group, the Bruce Katz Band in 1991 and has recorded and toured with that band to the present. He has also recorded and toured with many other well-known artists in the Blues, Jazz and Rock music world.
ying classical piano at the age of 5. He began his professional musical career playing piano and bass guitar with various bands in Baltimore. He then decided to concentrate on piano and Hammond organ, and in particular, jazz and blues music. After studying music at the Berklee College of Music (1974–77) and playing primarily jazz in Boston, he got the opportunity to play bass guitar for Big Mama Thornton. This reconnected him with his love of the blues, which has been his main musical genre since that time.

From that band, Katz moved on to play with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe from 1986-1990 and recording three albums with that band.

From 1990-92 he enrolled at the New England Conservatory in Boston and received a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance.

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After obtaining his Master’s Degree, Katz formed The Bruce Katz Band with Marty Ballou and Lorne Entress and began recording on the Sledgehammer Blues (formerly AudioQuest Music) label. His first album as a leader, Crescent Crawl was released in 1992.

In 1992, he was also invited to join Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. While with Ronnie Earl from 1992–97, Katz recorded 6 albums, including Grateful Heart, which won the Downbeat Magazine “Blues Album of the Year” award in 1996. He left the Broadcasters in 1997 in order to concentrate on the Bruce Katz Band. From then until the present he has led his own band and simultaneously maintained a sought after sideman status, recording and touring with many other artists, such as Delbert McClinton, Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker, Debbie Davies, David “Fathead” Newman, John Hammond and others.

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From 2007 to 2013, Katz was a regular member of Gregg Allman and Friends. In 2011, he joined Delbert McClinton’s Band and continued to play with him until 2014. He continues to play with John P. Hammond on occasion. Katz performed with Allman Brothers founding member Butch Trucks in two different groups – Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band and Les Brers, a band that contained 5 members of the Allman Brothers Band and Katz on keyboards, Lamar Williams Jr. on vocals and Pat Bergeson on guitar, in addition to Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Marc Quiñones, Oteil Burbridge on bass and Jack Pearson on guitar.

Katz also performed with Jaimoe and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, recording and writing on the Renaissance Man CD.

In 2014, Katz began to shift his primary focus to his own music and the Bruce Katz Band. In October 2014, Katz released Homecoming on the American Showplace Music record label. This album featured guests John P. Hammond, Randy Ciarlante, Jimmy Bennett, Marty Ballou, Peter Bennett, and was the first Bruce Katz Band album to feature vocals as well as instrumentals. Homecoming received critical and popular acclaim, garnering radio play in the US and worldwide, appearing at the top of Blues Radio charts. In 2016, he released another album on American Showplace Music, Out From The Center, which reached No. 1 on the Roots Music Report Blues Radio Chart.

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In 2018, he released Get Your Groove! on American Showplace Music. This album featured Ray Hangen on drums and continued to combine original instrumental and vocal music. It also featured Jaimoe from the Allman Brothers on drums on three tracks, most notably a tribute to Butch Trucks called “Freight Train”.

Katz released his first solo piano album titled Solo Ride on American Showplace Music in 2019. This all-instrumental album featured eleven original compositions and was a purely acoustic album featuring Katz playing at a grand piano. It was nominated by the Blues Foundation for a Blues Music Award Acoustic Album of the Year award in 2020. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his 5th album:

Keyboardist Bruce Katz showcases his jazz-meets-blues chops on Deeper Blue. Featuring Katz on both the Hammond B-3 organ and piano, the results sound something like a progressive, post-bop jazz group heavily into early-period Ray Charles. Although Katz is the featured player here, the album plays more like a group effort with guitarists Ronnie Earl and Michael Williams coming front and center much of the time. To these ends, “(Why Don’t You Just) Go Home!” is a quick and funky Medeski, Martin & Wood-style burner, “Greasy Sticks” is a suitably greasified shuffle, and “Slinky” is a menacing and atmospheric mid-tempo modern blues. Longtime Katz fans and listeners searching for some rootsy and intelligent improvisational music should find much to enjoy here. (by Matt Collar)

Oh yes … that´s what I all music !

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Personnel:
Rod Carey (bass)
Bruce Katz (keyboards)
Ralph Rosen (drums)
Michael Williams (guitar)
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Ronnie Earl (guitar on

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Tracklist:
01. Know It? I Wrote It! (Katz) 3.15
02. Greasy Sticks (Williams) 5.19
03. The Dark Room (Katz) 6.33
04. Yeah, Maybe (Carey) 5.20
05. Poptop (Katz) 4.45
06. The Stroll (Katz) 4.10
07. (Why Don’t You Just) Go Home! (Katz) 5.54
08. Call It Home (Katz) 6.03
09. Stovepipe Boogie (Katz) 3.04
10. Slinky (Katz) 6.36
11. Blues in D Natural (Hooker/London) 5.24
12. For Cliff (Katz) 6.11
13. Jump’d (Katz) 2.50

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The Bruce Katz Band website:
Website