Ben Sidran — Blue Camus (Oct. 2014)USA FLAG                                                                                    Ben Sidran — Blue Camus (Oct. 2014)
Born: August 14, 1943, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Location: Racine, Wisconsin ~ Madison, Wisconsin
Album release: October 2014
Record Label: Nardis Music / Bonsai France, 2014
Duration:     45:09
Tracks:
01. Soso’s Dream     6:58
02. Blue Camus     4:46
03. “A” Is For Alligator     3:13
04. King Of Harlem     4:58
05. Rocky’s Romance     6:21
06. Wake Me When It’s Over     4:32
07. There Used To Be Bees     7:23
08. Dees Dilemma     6:58
© 2014 Bonsai France 
Personnel:
♣   Ben Sidran — Wurlitzer, piano, vocals
♣   Leo Sidran — Drums
♣   Billy Peterson — Bass
♣   Ricky Peterson — Organ
♣   Bob Rockwell — Saxophone
♣   Trixie Waterbed — Backing Vocals•   The Times called Ben Sidran the first existentialist jazz rapper. BLUE CAMUS, the follow up to DONT CRY FOR NO HIPSTER, moves Ben Sidran further in that direction where jazz meets poetry, philosophy and politics, combining ready grooves with big ideas and a sense of humor. Many of the songs are direct tributes to philosopher / writers of the 20th century: ‘The King of Harlem’ is for Federico Garcia Lorca; ‘Blue Camus’ is for Albert Camus famous Stranger, and ‘A Is For Alligator’ is a tribute for George Orwell s’ Animal Farm’. BLUE CAMUS is also a tribute to two great musical families, the Petersons (brothers Billy and Ricky) and the Sidrans (father and son Ben and Leo), who have worked and played together for many years and have contributed to the recordings of, among others, Bob Dylan, Prince, Van Morrison, Dave Sanborn and Jorge Drexler. BLUE CAMUS is a rare meeting of music, philosophy and family.Description:
♣   BLUE CAMUS is the follow up to DONT CRY FOR NO HIPSTER.  If the latter spoke to the hipster’s inner monologue, this project reflects the external input source that the hipster has been taking in.  The references in BLUE CAMUS go back almost one hundred years to Garcia Lorca’s poetry (referenced in “The King of Harlem”), Orwell’s fantastic fiction (found in “A is for Alligator”) and a bit more recently to Albert Camus’ philosophy of existentialism.
♣   So there is a direct connection from the February afternoon in Mexico when I began writing the songs for DON’T CRY FOR NO HIPSTER, a somewhat autobiographical, jaundiced view of today’s world through the eyes of a jazz man who has been around for several decades, to BLUE CAMUS.  The classic hipster, as I see him, with his roots going back deep into the jazz life, was a reader of literature and a lover of philosophy, particularly, during the bebop era of the 40s and 50s.  The starting premise of Camus’ existentialism can be compared to jazz in that in both jazz and existentialism, we begin with a world of open possibilities and rely on our own experiences and emotions to figure out the next move, rather than what we are taught or by following some other theory.  For Camus (and the beboppers) all thought originates in action just as all jazz music originates in swing, not notes.
♣   We may be confused, but that could be the good news, because so much is clearly going amok, if we thought we knew what we were doing and that this was it, we’d be in even worse trouble than we already are.  Make sense?  No? Welcome to existentialism!
♣   In a world that appears to be swallowing itself whole, jazz and literature, combined here as BLUE CAMUS, provide a starting point to ask some questions about where we are and resolve them in swing.Ben & Judy Sidran 2015ABOUT BEN SIDRAN
♣   Ben Sidran is widely recognized as the host of National Public Radio’s landmark jazz series “Jazz Alive”, which received a Peabody Award, and as the host of VH~1 television’s “New Visions” series, which received the Ace Award for best music series. A pianist, producer, singer and composer, he has recorded more than thirty solo albums, including the Grammy nominated Concert for Garcia Lorca, and produced recordings for such noted artists as Van Morrison, Diana Ross, Michael Franks, Rickie Lee Jones, Mose Allison and Steve Miller (with whom he co~wrote the hit song “Space Cowboy”). He is the composer of the soundtrack for the acclaimed film Hoop Dreams, and scored the documentary Vietnam: Long Time Coming, which won both the Aspen Film Festival audience award and an Emmy.  Sidran has authored two books on the subject of jazz, Black Talk, a cultural history of the music, and Talking Jazz, a series of conversations with inspirational musicians. He holds a PhD. in American Studies from Sussex University, Brighton, England, but has studiously avoided the academic life, preferring instead to spend his time performing, producing and writing.  His latest works include the memoir, A Life in the Music and the groundbreaking text There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream, along with the recordings Dylan Different and Don’t Cry For No Hipster.
Website: http://bensidran.com/album/blue-camus
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bensidran
FB: https://www.facebook.com/bensidranpageRoxane Assaf~Lynn, Dec 06, 2017:
Ξ    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ben-sidran-blends-philoso_b_7781974
George Graham: http://georgegraham.com/reviews/sidran2015.html

Discography:
♠ 1971 Feel Your Groove, with Blue Mitchell    Capitol
♠ 1972 I Lead a Life    Blue Thumb
♠ 1973 Puttin’ in Time on Planet Earth    Blue Thumb
♠ 1974 Don’t Let Go    Blue Thumb
♠ 1976 Free in America    Arista
1976 That’s Life I guess Bluebird    RCA
♠ 1977 The Doctor Is In    Arista
♠ 1978 A Little Kiss in the Night    Arista
♠ 1979 Live at Montreux    Arista
♠ 1980 The Cat and the Hat    Horizon Records
1981 Get to the Point    Polystar
1982 Old Songs for the New Depression    Island
♣ 1983 Bop City    Island / Go Jazz
♣ 1984 Live with Richard Davis (Live At The Elvehjem Art Museum)    Cryonic Inc. 
♣ 1985 On the Cool Side    Windham Hill
♣ 1986 Have You Met...Barcelona?    Orange Blue
1987 On the Live Side    Windham Hill
♣ 1988 Too Hot to Touch    Windham Hill
♣ 1990 Cool Paradise    Go Jazz
1994 Life’s a Lesson    Go Jazz
1996 Mr. P’s Shuffle    Go Jazz
♦ 1997 Go Jazz All~Stars    Go Jazz
1998 Live at Celebrity Lounge    Go Jazz
2000 Concert For Garcia Lorca    Go Jazz
Ξ 2002 Walk Pretty, The Music of Alec Wilder    Go Jazz
Ξ 2004 Nick’s Bump    Nardis Records
Ξ 2005 Bumpin’ At The Sunside    Nardis
Ξ 2006 Live à fip    Bonsai Music
Ξ 2008 Cien Noches    Nardis
Ξ 2009 Dylan Different Nardis
Ξ 2010 Dylan Different Live at the New Morning Bonsai Music
≈ 2013 Don’t Cry for No Hipster    Nardis 
2014 Blue Camus   Nardis Music / Bonsai France

Ben Sidran — Blue Camus