Ok so last night I was looking at the Roots Music Report Jazz charts and there at number 2 was a new album from Ben Sidran. Now, I knew Ben Sidran way back in the early 70s when he was a member of the Steve Miller Band. From allmusic:
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. Full Biography
Over the years, I was aware that he was still recording albums, mostly jazz, but I never really picked up any of the albums. But last night the new album intrigued me, so I went looking for iit, it must be very new because I didn’t find it on MOG, etc. But I did find some other newer albums including his 2009 release Dylan Different. On this album Sidran took twelve Dylan classics and gave them a jazz makeover and well, there were some I liked and some I didn’t. Actually, on first listen I wasn’t thrilled but as I listened again this morning the reworking has grown on me. The one song that I really liked at first was “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Sidran has slowed it down and I really think that it fits the lyrics bwetter than some of the more upbeat versions! Here’s what allmusic writes:
Sidran even has the stones to redo “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He makes it as disturbingly inquisitive and world-weary as the song itself must feel by now, but without losing a measure of its poignancy.
This morning I watched the video of Sidran’s cover of “Highway 61 Revisited” and I really liked it. After listening to the song and having listened to the Bob Dylan Radio Hour on XM Radio I think that Dylan may enjoy the cover, too. Again from allmusic:
Dylan’s slide guitar anthem “Highway 61 Revisited” is given a lithe Latin treatment with Burger’s guitar referencing the original even as the piano and rhythm section make it a funky-butt slow-boiling rhumba
and allmusic’s closing comment:
Dylan Different reveals Sidran as being in full possession of his jazz and creative gifts but also his ones for interpretive song; by turns, with this fine album, he adds even more weight to the argument that Dylan is a writer of folk songs that transcend their eras of origin in relevancy. Full Review
So here’s some morning music from Bed Sidran’s Dylan Different. Do you give it a thumbs up or down? (I know my wife gives it a big thumb’s down!