Jamie Saft's First Solo Album 'Solo a Genova' Out on RareNoise, 1/26
Jamie Saft's first solo album in 25 years as a recording artist, 'Solo A Genova' will be released on CD, vinyl and multiple digital formats, available in stores and online on January 26, 2018 and through www.rarenoiserecords.com.
One of the most prolific artists on the RareNoise roster, pianist Jamie Saft has appeared on recordings by such groups as Metallic Taste of Blood, Slobber Pup, Plymouth, Red Hill, The Spanish Donkey and Berserk! as well as on collaborations with Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte (New Standard / Loneliness Road), which also featured Iggy Pop, Bill Brovold (Serenity Knolls), Roswell Rudd (Strength & Power) and his own New Zion album (Sunshine Seas). His sprawling discography, which includes prodigious sideman work with John Zorn, numbers over 160 albums. And yet, over all those sessions he has never recorded a solo piano album. "I've incorporated some solo piano pieces into other records of mine before, but this is something unique for me," says the ubiquitous keyboardist. "This is my first proper full length solo piano album in 25 years of making records."
Solo a Genova is Saft's highly emotive take on jazz standards and other uniquely American compositions. "I first conceived of this recital of music back in 2007," he explains. "I was asked by my good friend Giuseppe Vigna to give a solo piano recital in Florence, Italy. At that moment in time, the United States was in a rough patch politically, so I wanted to present American music as an example of positive, forward thinking art - art that made a difference in the world, art that resisted hatred and negativity, art that promoted a positive path forward for mankind. I chose songs from artists that were dear to me: Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, Curtis Mayfield, Charles Ives. Who better to represent the transformative powers of music than these brilliant writers?
Recorded at the beautiful Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Italy in an acoustically marvellous space, Solo a Genova showcases Saft on a 9-foot Steinway Model N*E*R*D piano in the service of these beguiling tunes. "My primary influences for solo piano are actually the very same influences for playing the piano in any situation: Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk and Garth Hudson of The Band. Each has a uniquely personal approach to solo piano stylings. Each of these masters incorporates the entire history of modern music within their piano worlds. Their music IS American classical music."
The album opens with a pure expression of happiness on Curtis Mayfield's "The Makings Of You" and is followed by an interpretation of Jimmy Jam-Terry Lewis' "Human" which melds beautifully to Saft's own "Gates." Says Saft, "Those are both brilliant examples of the complexities of human beings. Each of these tunes is trance-like and transformative and swiftly transports the listener. The harmonic approaches of each of these songs is deeply fundamental and helps propel the message of the song perfectly.
1. The Makings Of You
2. Human Gates
4. Sharp Dressed
6. Po' Boy
7. The New Standard
8. Blue Motel Room
9. The Housatonic At Stockbridge
10. Blue In Green
11. Restless Farewell
RareNoiseRecords was founded in 2008 by two Italians, entrepreneur Giacomo Bruzzo and music producer Eraldo Bernocchi. Located in London, the label's mission is to detect and amplify contemporary trends in progressive music, by highlighting their relation to the history of the art-form, while choosing not to be bound by pre-conceptions of genre. It seeks to become a guiding light for all those enamored by exciting, adventurous and progressive sounds. For further information and to listen to excerpts, please go to www.rarenoiserecords.com