Ben Sidran | Blue Camus

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Jazz: Jazz-Funk Spoken Word: With Music Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Blue Camus

by Ben Sidran

Ben Sidran is that rare combination of musician and intellectual. Maybe that's the reason the Times of London referred to him as "the world's first existentialist rapper".
Genre: Jazz: Jazz-Funk
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Soso's Dream
6:58 $0.99
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2. Blue Camus
4:46 $0.99
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3. "A" Is for Alligator
3:13 $0.99
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4. The King of Harlem
4:57 $0.99
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5. Rocky's Romance
6:21 $0.99
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6. Wake Me When It's Over
4:32 $0.99
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7. There Used to Be Bees
7:23 $0.99
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8. Dee's Dilemma
6:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Ben Sidran is that rare combination of musician and intellectual. Since the very beginning of his career, he has pursued both interests in earnest, often bringing together his personal experience with larger historical questions, often contextualizing his own experience within a broader narrative. Maybe that's the reason the Times of London referred to him as "the world's first existentialist rapper".

In 2015, Ben delivers a series of projects related to what he refers to as his "literary year," including a new
edition of his most recent book There Was A Fire: Jews, Music and The American Dream, the audio
book of his memoir A Life In The Music, and a new record, Blue Camus (Jazz +Philosophy).

Blue Camus (Jazz + Philosophy) is Ben Sidran’s 31st solo record. The album features Ben Sidran (keyboards, vocals), Leo Sidran (drums, production), Billy Peterson (bass), Ricky Peterson (organ): two families (one father and son, and two brothers). The music is loose, funky, and somewhat retro, and the lyrics are pure Sidran philosophy. Recorded in Madison, Wisconsin and Paris, France, this record brings together the most street level impulses in Ben’s music with the existential questions that he has been asking for years. Blue Camus is the follow up to Ben’s 2012 release, Don’t Cry For No Hipster.

Ben Sidran on Blue Camus:

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.

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