Ben Sidran,
Nick's Bump
(Nardis, 2004)

As the liner notes say, Nick's Bump is a mixed drink. (The notes contain the recipe.) That fact pretty much establishes the tone for this CD from Ben Sidran. It's a sort of party album, a set of mostly classic jazz tunes -- Eddie Harris, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan and Sonny Clark contribute tunes -- along with a few originals from Sidran, played with taste and verve. Art Blakey and Dizzie Gillespie make guest appearances.

Sidran has gathered together a fine band here, made up of mostly young musicians who know their way around their instruments. Sidran plays Hammond organ and electric piano, while Bob Rockwell plays tenor sax and flute, and Louka Patenade cooks on guitar. The rhythm section consists of Billy Peterson on bass and Leo Sidran on drums.

The CD, recorded live in the studio without overdubs, gives all of the musicians time and room to stretch out. Each carries his solos well but also contributes to a strong ensemble sound.

In all, Nick's Bump is like a good mixed drink. While it stays light and never goes anywhere very new, it offers a lot of comfort.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

15 November 2008

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