By Ben Sidran
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Publish 12 months note: First released March twenty fifth 2003 by means of Taylor exchange Publishing
Sidran's splendidly crafted memoir revisits the numerous diverse aspects of his lifestyles and profession: As a performer, he has recorded with jazz icons (Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks) and rock legends (Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Steve Miller); as a composer, he has scored motion pictures (Hoop Dreams); and as a student he has written books and articles at the background of jazz and black song in the US.
With a charismatic and expert voice, Sidran illuminates scenes from his youth in Chicago and offers an inside of view of the recording undefined, additionally revealing an know-how of the heritage of Jewish contributions to jazz.
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Additional info for Ben Sidran: A Life in the Music
Years later, my grandmother Tsipora (Cip) told me the story of her harrowing escape with two little children, my father and his sister. Bubby Cip said the only reason they made it past the soldiers on the train was because she had blond hair and blue eyes and didn’t look like a Jew. I have a picture of my father standing with his first-grade class on the steps of his school in Centerville; he is wearing a miniature tuxedo and holding a violin, while all the other kids stand around in shorts and plain shirts, holding a book or a flag, like something out of a Grant Wood painting.
Maybe even Marilyn. The next day at school she didn’t even look at me and we never spoke again. 55 * * * 1956 Life in Racine was generally slow, but it got more exciting when my schoolmates discovered anti-Semitism. I remember the first time I heard the word “Jewboy” whispered behind me like a cold draft in the locker room. Seemingly overnight, being a Jew became a complex thing, a subtext of so many situations, like the elephant in the living room that nobody notices. I don’t have to go into the details, because anybody can imagine how creatively and thoroughly thirteen-year-old-boys can torture one another.
He radiated a hip nonchalance, and he was both playful and hardboiled. Many of my friends thought of him as the coolest guy they knew. He wasn’t like other parents. He talked to you like an adult, and he would talk to you about anything, movies, sports, music, whatever you liked. But when you stepped up to the plate, you had better be ready. His bottom line was that he broached no bullshit. Some folks say he resembled Jeff Chandler. In the old pictures, he has the same tight black curly hair and swarthy good looks.