June 13, 2024


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Jamie Saft: Improvisation is precious: Video

The work of jazz pianist Jamie Saft is experimental and sounded powerful. With Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte the New Yorker also plays in Germany.

Whether jazz, dubreggae or heavy metal, Jamie Saft is one of the most versatile and inspiring pianists and composers on the contemporary New York downtown scene.

Since the 1990s, the artist who grew up in a Jewish family in the Big Apple and has been influenced by diverse US pop sounds plays with actors such as John Zorn, Bad Brains or Roswell Rudd in numerous projects. Saft now also leads his own combos, such as the dub-exotic-affine New Zion Trio and the metal-improv quartet Slobber Pup. After an intensive 25-year career, the enormously diligent musician presents a new album: “You Do not Know The Life” is the 65th album with his participation!

If you travel north of New York on the idyllic country road through the Catskill Mountains for a long time, you will end up at the new food spot of Juke, a house near Woodstock. From hermitage no trace, because the 48-year-old set up a studio there. Most recently, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bobby Previte were there for recordings. They formed a trio with Jamie Saft and recorded the basic tracks of their new album “You Do not Know The Life” (Rare Noise).

“Any opportunity to improvise with colleagues is precious. They are my heroes. Few instrumentalists have that musical level and wisdom to handle it properly. I alone gave the compositional architecture, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte then took it to another level, “says juice respectfully. In fact, he does not have a line-true improvising jazz trio at the start; he breaks away from the genre with an immensely positive and far-reaching independent music full of gentle air currents and mysterious relaxtion.

No way past electrical organs

It is already the third cooperation of this team, and it is also the third time that they try something new, so this time Saft switched from the piano to the organ. What has remained the same is the looseness that they display. Magic is not enforced at any moment, it is simply there and pulls the listener into tongefilde, who sometimes meditate, sometimes swinging or indulging in expressive passages in nested passages. “After all, they are just other voices that I use to make my music, choices in my toolbox, every situation requires different equipment. For the new album, there was only the option of electric organ voices. ”

Here you can hear a different organ sound than the one that used to be the groove-oriented Brother Jack McDuff. Jamie Saft goes in a freer way, playing in a similar way to Sun Ra. Together with Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte, he found free access, making her music even psychedelic or contemplative, almost as if she came from a church.

Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell

In all ten pieces, the effectively playing organ-bass drum trio ensures a reliable structure, be it when the melody is a delicate waltz, as in the title song. “Alfie ‘by Burt Bacharach and’ Moonlight in Vermont ‘are from the Great American Songbook and have been interesting since my youth. They are the homage to my heroes, to those who are still with us, and to those who have already died. ”

Now Jamie Saft is coming to Germany with his trio. The program also includes interpretations of some of Joni Mitchell’s songs, Bob Dylan, and Miles Davis, which are thematically against hatred and negativity. This should be a positive sign against the conditions in the US.

Jamie Saft und seine Musiker

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