You Don't Know the Life by Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte

Release date: January 25, 2019
Label: RareNoiseRecords

Jamie Saft has made a name for himself for the last three decades in his career. Whether its working with the Beastie Boys, Donovan, Iggy Pop, John Zorn, and Bad Brains to name a few, he has been around from day one. This is his third outing from the RareNoise label by teaming up with drummer Bobby Previte and bassist Steve Swallow as they shift gears into the tradition of an organ trio.

You Don’t Know the Life is quite an unexpected release this year from Giacomo Bruzzo’s label. The album was recorded at Sear Sound in New York City. Listening to this album, makes you feel as if it was recorded between 1968 and 1972. You can just close your eyes and imagine yourself being at those sessions by watching Jamie, Steve, and Bobby creating magic behind the sessions for the album.

‘Re: Person I Knew’ has this intro in the style of Duke Ellington’s ‘Take the A Train’ with a mid-tempo swing between Steve’s walking bass and Previte’s combination of the tambourine and his drum kit. It has this Psychedelic Bebop section while Saft honors Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge by keeping the temperature levels up a notch. And then, everything becomes a smoky midnight scenario across town for the ‘Dark Squares’.


The tempo has this slowed down beat for the trio to walk across long corridors with some hidden passageways that resembles the orchestrations of Wes Montgomery’s composition, ‘People’. The trio honor the classic throughout the piece, but with a harsher and haunting groove while ‘Water from Breath’ sees Saft honoring the late great Bo Hansson.

Bobby also channels the drumming styles of Janne Carlsson. You can imagine the Swedish duo are looking down from heaven and are very pleased to see both Jamie and Bobby tipping their hats to them by going through the sections of the Organ and Drum duo that have some beginnings of Jazz Rock and the early beginnings of the Progressive Rock genre by keeping their legacy alive.

‘Stable Manifold’ sees the trio go back into the Swing genre as they get the train rolling for more adventures across the heart of a killer groove that Saft takes over throughout his organ and shines throughout the ride by giving his bandmates some instructions on where the train will head towards the next pit stop. Now, ‘Moonlight in Vermont’. No, not the Captain Beefheart song from Trout Mask Replica, but the popular standard by Karl Suessdorf and John Blackburn wrote in 1944.

Here, the trio honors the rhythmic soul of the mid-‘60s from the Atlantic Years of two people, Percy Sledge and organist Spooner Oldham. I can tell that they honor the rhythmic styles of ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ and believe me, they have done the job right to keep the vibrations going more and more by shining the lights brightly.

This is probably my first time delving into the music of Jamie Saft and Bobby Previte. And if it is, it’s one hell of a trip that RareNoiseRecords have unleashed a big mighty beast. For Jamie, Steve, and Bobby, this here is a real special treat.

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