Boomkat Product Review:
Jamie Saft has been a significant presence on RareNoiseRecords since the label’s inception
"As band leader on New Zion w. Cyro’s ‘Sunshine Seas’ (on piano, analogue keyboards, bass and guitar with percussionist Cyro Baptista) and on The New Standard (on piano and organ with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bobby Previte), on celebrated quartet collaborations with Wadada Leo Smith (Red Hill on piano) and Roswell Rudd (Strength&Power on piano), as well as on a number of deep free music collaborations involving Joe Morris (Slobber Pup, Plymouth, The Spanish Donkey, on organ and analogue keyboards).
Now, on Serenity Knolls,he stakes out some completely different territory. An intimate duo project with guitarist Bill Brovold, a former member of such New York no-wave bands as the Rhys Chatham Ensemble, the East Village Orchestra and the Zen Vikings, it features Saft alternating between playing dobro and lap steel on a set of 12 ambient type tunes with a distinctive heartland undercurrent to them. An accomplished keyboardist-composer who has been widely acknowledged for his work with various John Zorn projects, including The Dreamers, Electric Masada and Moonchild, the Queens native and current resident of Kingston in upstate New York has nonetheless has maintained a longstanding relationship with theguitar. Saft is paired with the legendary improviser, woodworker, instrument builder and leader of Larval, an influential Detroit improvising post-rock ensemble.
Recorded at Potterville International Sound in Kingston, New York and mixed there by Saft and his colleague Christian Castagno (the same engineer who co-produced and mixed 2016’s Sunshine Seas), Serenity Knolls carries a compelling vibe created by Brovold’s atmospheric guitar in combination with Saft’s melodic gems on dobro and lap steel. "