By Peter Margasak | Published May 2019
Keyboardist Jamie Saft thrives upon treating tradition with irreverence, which in his case doesn’t mean disrespect so much as a refusal to pay strict attention to rules. He’s built a career from subverting convention and ignoring hierarchies even while understanding and adoring them. And his second recording with veteran bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bobby Previte is Saft’s peculiar salute to jazz’s organ combo tradition. With typical perversity, he opens the record playing “Re: Person I Know,” a gentle Bill Evans ballad, using an electric harpsichord, over a shuffling, quasi-second line rhythm by Previte. Saft unleashes reverberant slabs of sound on his “The Cloak,” threaded by nimble, single-note runs from his right hand. But in some ways, his parts mostly are a cushion for the nonstop invention of Previte, who runs delightfully roughshod over the whole churning performance. The album concludes with relatively straight readings of “Alfie” and “Moonlight In Vermont,” a more superficial indication of Saft’s appreciation for jazz tradition than the chances he takes during the first 35 minutes here.
You Don’t Know The Life: Re: Person I Know; Dark Squares; Water From Breath; You Don’t Know The Life; Ode To A Green Frisbee; The Cloak; Stable Manifold; The Break Of The Flat Land; Moonlight In Vermont; Alfie. (41:14)
Personnel: Jamie Saft, Hammond organ, Whitehall organ, Baldwin electric harpsichord; Steve Swallow, electric bass; Bobby Previte, drums.