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Original Release Date Jan 1, 2000
Distributor Aderet Music Corp.
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From Jazziz
Saft\'s solo debut is a documentary of a Brooklyn where the young, hip, and electronic - whose inspiration is as much African as European - sidle up to deep, lively, and costumed Jewry.
The latest in Tzadik\'s Radical Jewish Culture series, Sovlanut ("tolerance") brings the range of Jewish musics to bear on forms du jour. Hassidic mysticism, Sephardic Arabian/Middle Eastern vibe, and klezmer\'s dancey clarinet (supplied by Chris Speed) preside over dub reggae, infused with processed Yiddish samples and Hammond-spiked drum\'n\'bass.

The opening tracks are strong and accessible, populated by vintage cantations, large-scale synth movements, guitar noodling, heavy bass (by Groove Collective\'s Jonathan Maron), and melodic improvs driven both by machine beats and the intricate, cymbal-drenched drumming of Jim Black and Chris Kelly. But when Saft indulges his penchant for the difficult, the sound collage degenerates into loud, abrasive bursts, and the album takes time to recover. Drawn-out fusion gets more dense and manic by the multi-metered minute as it veers toward Bitches Brew-ish funk, before ebbing down-tempo again for a jaunt into dubby Indian territory.

Saft\'s Downtown work and the essentially free-jazz Saft/Vu co-release Ragged Jack suggest the conservatory-studied keyboardist-cum-multi-instrumentalist is a jazz-rooted musician. But Saft is also a founding member of Prohibited Beatz, Nerve, and other beat-centric outfits. With such credentials in hand, Saft brings the future to his heritage.

--David Berg-Seiter, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc.

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