Ben Sidran is a jazzman for all jazz seasons, and his well-crafted memoir, A LIFE IN THE MUSIC, is a poignant look at the times he lived through and the influences on his life in jazz music as a composer, pianist, and vocalist. Sidran has worn many hats in jazz, including the award-winning music for "Hoop Dreams," keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band, journalist for "Rolling Stone" magazine, a collaboration with his son Leo titled "El Elefante," on Liquid 8 label, and as founder for Go Jazz Records.
The book contains 3 parts, and covers the time periods of 1943 through 1999. There is an epilogue, discography, radio/television/film listings, and a CD track listing. Accompanying the book is a CD which contains jazz compositions by Sidran and his performances.
There is a blunt, yet gentle intimacy about this book that gives it a truly honest approach. You get to know Ben Sidran the man, husband, father, jazz artist, and he shares accurate information with the readers about his relationships with people such as Carole King, Diana Ross, Charilies Watts, Erick Clapton, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaghan, Van Morrison, to name but a few. The emphasis is on the transformative experience of jazz and how jazz creates, shapes, and produces those changes.
What I found most appealing about this well-written memoir is its honesty. I would reccomend this book to any person who is interested in the jazz and influences taking place during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. Sidran has a passion for life and for jazz and he willingly shares them with the readers.
I would recommend this book for inclusion in all local Public Libraries for its jazz patrons. Highly recommended reading. There is never a dull moment in A LIFE IN THE MUSIC.Ben Sidran continues to bring new ideas to jazz music, and his well-written memoir, A LIFE IN THE MUSIC, should find a ready audience for all jazz fans whatever their musical preferences. This is a look at a gifted jazz composer and his times.