Keyboardist Jamie Saft’s inclusion in Tzadik records Radical Jewish Culture series is more radical than Jewish. The title Sovlanut means tolerance. From Saft’s multi-cultured Brooklyn home tolerance is the order of the day. The exploration of his Jewish-ness is through the filters of his neighborhood, which happens to be drum-n-bass and dub. Saft is the Jewish version of Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Saft a keyboardist with a preference for a vintage groove has worked with the likes of John Zorn, Cuong Vu, Jerry Granelli, and Bobby Previte. His band includes clarinetist Chris Speed (Dave Douglas, Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, Human Feel, and Granelli), bassist Jonathan Maron (Groove Collective, Liminal), and drummer Jim Black (Bloodcount, Dave Douglas, Human Feel, Ben Monder).
The disc opens and closes with echo-filled dub tracks. Bass heavy, they collage Jewish, Arab, and a distinctly Jamaican sound. Saft playing multiple instruments creates a spaceways backdrop for the 13-minute title track, a drum-n-bass mindscape. “Mach/Hey” and “Tefachim” take a slow groove approach to this headtrip, Saft punching out some Herbie Hancock Headhunter electric piano. “Midwood Cowboy” turns the noisiest performance here noisily sampled and aggressively shrilled. Sovlanut is about the groove, the sample, and a diversified music vision through a dub-filter.
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