All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

407

Jamie Saft Trio: Trouble: The Jamie Saft Trio Plays Bob Dylan

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The sophomore release by the Jamie Saft Trio is a provocative and entertaining statement. Trouble attempts to reexamine Dylan's legacy from a Jewish point of view, as part of Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture series, and to position Dylan as a Jewish role model—views that Dylan most likely would have renounced immediately. But furthermore, Trouble is provocative in its choice of Dylan compositions as well as their arrangements, and in these regards, Dylan may be more pleased. As Saft notes in his liner notes, "Blind faith is something Bob Dylan has resisted throughout his career—musically, spiritually and politically."

But more importantly, Trouble is a work of irreverent love that discovers the many facets of Dylan's music. The opening track, "What Was It You Wanted," from Oh, Mercy (Columbia, 1989), begins this tribute with a simple, straightforward blues with assured interplay by the core trio, comprised by Saft on piano, bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Ben Perowsky. The epic and poetic "Ballad of a Thin Man," from Highway 61 Revisited (Columbia, 1965), the earliest cover in this tribute, receives a melodramatic and playful reading by Mike Patton that may be more fluent than the usual ones, but it misses the distant irony and cynicsm of any interpretation by Dylan.

"Dignity," performed as a steady R&B standard, finds Saft on the Hammond organ. The simple and beautiful melody of "God Knows" is recovered from the breezy and easy to forget Under the Red Sky (Columbia, 1990), a release that did not present any meaningful lyrics by Dylan. "Trouble," taken from Dylan's born-again era, is another loose and open-ended melody that reveals the trio members as great storytellers. The personal and melancholic "Dirge," led by Cohen's measured pizzicato bass and economic playing by Saft and Perowsky, keeps the original reserved spirit of the song.

"Living the Blues," from the self-parody Self Portrait (Columbia, 1970), gets a theatrical reading by Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), which may better match the period a decade later, when Dylan was smeared for going to Las Vegas, but the trio manages to redeem this banal song through playful interplay with the vocalist. The "Disease of Conceit," another gem from the great Oh, Mercy, is performed here as a slow gospel piece, with Saft leading ceremonially on the Hammond organ.

"Every man has his rabbi—let me introduce you to mine," concludes Saft in his liner notes. He proves himself a knowledgeable and devout disciple of Dylan, but one who is not shy from rebeling and reexamining his "rabbi" legacy.


Track Listing: What Was it You Wanted; Ballad of a Thin Man; Dignity; God Knows; Trouble; Dirge; Living the Blues; Disease of Conceit.

Personnel: Greg Cohen: bass; Ben Perowsky: drums; Jamie Saft: piano, Hammond organ; Mike Patton: vocals; Antony: vocals.

Title: Trouble: The Jamie Saft Trio Plays Bob Dylan | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Tzadik

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Solo a Genova

Solo a Genova

RareNoiseRecords
2019

buy
Blue Dream

Blue Dream

RareNoiseRecords
2018

buy
Solo a Genova

Solo a Genova

RareNoiseRecords
2018

buy
Blue Dream

Blue Dream

RareNoiseRecords
2018

buy
Loneliness Road

Loneliness Road

RareNoiseRecords
2017

buy
Serenity Knolls

Serenity Knolls

RareNoiseRecords
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "A Journey" CD/LP/Track Review A Journey
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore" CD/LP/Track Review The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "Sheroes" CD/LP/Track Review Sheroes
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 3, 2018
Read "Caldera" CD/LP/Track Review Caldera
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "Helix" CD/LP/Track Review Helix
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 7, 2018