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Ben Sidran

Pianist Ben Sidran grew up in Racine, WI. In the early '60s, he played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs in a band called the Ardells at the University of Wisconsin. After Miller moved to San Francisco and secured a recording contract, he called on old friend Sidran to join him in the Steve Miller Band following the departure of original keyboardist Jim Peterman. Sidran contributed on the keys and as songwriter on several Miller albums beginning with Brave New World in 1969, co-writing the classic "Space Cowboy" and three other tunes on that LP. He also authored "Steve Miller's Midnight Tango" on Number 5 and collaborated with Miller on several other tunes through the years. He produced his friend's under appreciated release, Recall the Beginning...A Journey From Eden in 1972. Sidran received a Ph.D. in philosophy/musicology, writing his doctoral thesis on African-American culture and music in the United States. The thesis was published to positive critical response in 1971 as Black Talk. Since 1972, he has released a number of solo albums in a cool, easy swinging style similar to Mose Allison. His early albums relied on acoustic instruments and lyrical references to his musical heroes. Later releases used electronic instruments and tasty synthesizers for an interesting sound best presented on albums like 1985's On the Cool Side and Cool Paradise from 1990.

Through the years, Ben Sidran and Steve Miller have remained close friends, popping up from time to time on one another's recordings or live performances. In 1988, Sidran co-produced one of Miller's most interesting latter-day recordings, Born 2B Blue, a collection of jazz standards dressed up in the same cool, low-key arrangements Sidran employs on his own albums.

Sidran has produced recordings for Mose Allison, Diana Ross, and others, and collaborated with Van Morrison and Georgie Fame on the tribute album The Songs of Mose Allison: Tell Me Something in 1996. In addition to making music himself, Sidran has hosted programs on VH1 and continues to write about the music he loves. ~ Jim Newsom
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Don' Cry For No Hipster

1. Back Nine

2. Brand New Music

3. Don't Cry For No Hipster

4. At Least We Got To The Race

5. Can We Talk

6. In The Beginning

7. It Don't Get No Better

8. Dying Anyway

9. Private Guy

10. Reflections

11. Take A Little Hit

12. Sixteen Tons

13. Rich Interior Life

14. Hooglin'

x

Track List: Dylan Different

1. Everything Is Broken

2. Highway 61 Revisited

3. Tangled Up In Blue

4. Gotta Serve Somebody

5. Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35

6. Ballad Of A Thin Man

7. Maggie's Farm

8. Knockin' On Heaven's Door

9. Subterranean Homesick Blues

10. On The Road Again

11. All I Really Want To Do

12. Blowin' In The Wind

x

Track List: Cien Noches

1. Welcome To The Central

2. Gotta Serve Somebody

3. Take Me To The River

4. Drinkin' N Thinkin'

5. A Room In The Desert

6. Straight No Chaser

7. Something For You To Do

8. See That Rock

9. Subterranean Homesick Blues

10. Folio

11. Cave Dancing

x

Track List: Nick's Bump

1. Little Sherry

2. Cryin' Blues

3. Black Jack

4. Blue Panther

5. The Cats

6. Zambia

7. Mean Greens

8. Listen Here

9. Blue Minor

10. Nick's Bump

x

Track List: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Hoop Dreams

1. Hoop Dreams

2. Traveling Music

3. The Original Lesson

4. The Float

5. The Tide ( Keeps Lifting Me )

6. Above The Rim

7. Low Post

8. Fast Break

9. Under The Knife

10. Junior Moved

11. Walking The Walk

12. Face

13. Sweet Dreams

x

Track List: Cool Paradise

1. Cool Paradise

2. Lip Service

3. If Someone Has to Wreck Your Life

4. She Steps Into A Dream

6. Language Of The Blues

7. Desire Of Love

8. Bye Bye Blackbird

9. So Long

10. Walking With The Blues

x

Track List: Enivre D'amour

1. Shine A Light On Me

2. Enivre D'amour

3. Everything Happens To Me

4. Freedom Jazz Dance

5. On The Sunny Side Of The Street

6. Critics

8. Too Hot To Touch

9. Longing For Bahia

10. I Wanna Be A Bebopper

x

Track List: On The Cool Side

1. Misubishi Boy

2. Lover Man Pt. 1

3. Lover Man Pt. 2

4. Brown Eyes

5. On The Cool Side

6. Old Hagy

7. Heat Wave

8. Take It Easy Greasy

9. Up A Lazy River

10. That's What The Note Said

11. Lost In The Stars

x

Track List: Bop City

1. Solar

2. Big Nick

3. It Didn't All Come True

4. City Home

5. Bop City (From "Jazz Alive!")

6. Little Sherry

7. Nardis

8. Up Jumped Spring

9. Monk's Mood

x

Track List: Old Songs For The New Depression

1. Let's Get Away From It All

2. Easy Street

3. Old Folks

4. Turn To The Music

5. Steady Eddie

6. Making Whoopie

7. Piano Players

8. Dark Night

9. Nostalgia In Times Square

x

Track List: A Good Travel Agent

1. The Doctor's Blues

2. Broad Daylight

3. Piano Players

4. Turn To The Music

5. A Good Travel Agent

6. There They Go

7. Lover Man

8. Mitsubishi Boy

9. On The Cool Side

10. Space Cowboy

11. Last Dance

x

Track List: Ben Sidran - Clementine

1. Chances Are

2. Broad Daylight

3. Walking With The Blues

6. Face Your Fears

x

Track List: Have You Met ... Barcelona ?

x

Track List: Life's A Lesson

1. Eliyahu

2. Oseh Shalom

3. Life's A Lesson

4. Ani Maamin

5. Avinu Malchenu

6. Tree Of Life

7. B'rosh Hashana

8. Eli Eli

9. Shofar Shogood

10. Y'Did Nefesh

11. Kol Nidre

12. Hashivenu

13. Hatikva

14. Face Your Fears

15. Hine Ma Tov

x

Track List: Live at the Celebrity Lounge

1. Sentimental Journey (Live)

2. Turn to the Music (Live)

3. Chat (Live)

4. I Wanna Be a Bebopper (Live)

5. House of Blue Lights (Live)

6. Look Here (Live)

7. Avinu Malchenu (Live)

8. Chat 2 (Live)

9. Gege's Mouth Drums (Live)

10. Gege's Groove (Live)

11. Old Folks (Live)

12. Blues for the Celebrity Lounge (Live)

x

Track List: Mr. P's Shuffle

1. I'm Back

2. Like a Boat on the Water

3. Sentimental Journey

4. Get Happy

5. Jive Samba

6. I'm Not Talking

7. The Glory of Love

8. Mr. P's Shuffle

9. Walk Right In

10. Lover Man

11. No Moon at All

12. Memory Lane

x

Track List: The Concert for Garcia Lorca

1. On Defeating Death (Absent Soul) [Live]

2. It Ain't Necessarily So (Live)

3. On Duende (Live)

4. On Cante Jondo and the Blues (Live)

5. New Gypsy Ballads, Whisper Not (Lover Man) [Live]

6. Look Here (Live)

7. Poet in New York (Freedom Jazz Dance) [Live]

8. Si Me Voy (For Margarita Xirgu) [Live]

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Minneapolis still loves Ben. Come back man.
Report as inappropriate
When Miles mentioned! The Birth of Cool! He ment Ben Sidran.
Report as inappropriate
In the mid 80's at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Sidran asked for requests. Several were turned down, and with my heart racing I yelled out When a woman says she's ready. WOW He responded back now that's a hip request and played a long version with group members doing solo's, just unbelievable . The song is his best. Come to Ely, Minnesota Ben. In my dreams and play at my wedding. Mark Haarman 12-14-12
Report as inappropriate
Some of earliest offerings are omitted in the discography. The Dr. Is In
is one of his best for simple lyric.
Report as inappropriate
Ben Sidran is an un-sung hero. I wish more Jazz radio stations would play him more often!
Report as inappropriate
Ho0w do I here the tune I like . The whole tune

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