Ben Sidran celebrates groove jazz on Nick's Bump (Liquid 8). The veteran keyboardist road-tested the material-comprising both classics and originals-for a couple of years before taking it into the studio, and the result is a studio album that swings with the spontaneity and inventiveness of live performance. Eddie Harris' "Mean Greens" is a band workout that's both lively and soulful, while the Sidran composition "Blue Panther" is a bluesy number that slinks and prowls like the animal in the title.
The multitalented Sidran is also a broadcaster (among other things), and he incorporates snippets of his interviews with Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey into two tracks. During Sidran's flute-enhanced take on Harris' "Listen Here," Gillespie proclaims, "I told you so," while Blakey's appearance on Donald Byrd's "Black Jack" includes the observation that "the music is supposed to wash away the dust of everyday life." With an album as thoroughly enjoyable as Nick's Bump, it certainly will.