Ben Sidran - Dylan Different (3 stars)

Ben Sidran - Dylan Different

(Bonsai Music)

Jazz covers of Bob Dylan’s songs are pretty much a rarity, but veteran singer and pianist Ben Sidran takes the bull by the horns in this project. The fact that these are vocal interpretations in Sidran’s laconic, Mose Allison-influenced style is probably key to the project – Dylan does not leave much room for manoeuvre for jazz players looking to erect instrumental edifices on the foundations of his very lyric-driven music (although some have tried).

Sidran draws heavily on the canonical decade of the 60s, with a couple of later songs – ‘Everything Is Broken’ and ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ – thrown in. Most of the songs work quite well in his signature style (and hey, you can follow the words). His core trio is augmented by several guests, including saxophonist Bob Malach, trumpeter Michael Leonhart and Georgie Fame, who plays organ on a laid-back ‘Rainy Day Women’.

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