Recommended: Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte – “Loneliness Road (with Iggy Pop)”


Iggy Pop’s appearance could’ve been a novelty act, I suppose.  Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to expect or how to interpret a left-field entry like Loneliness Road.  But as Iggy successfully traversed decades of changing music scenes, his singular delivery and personal magnetism has always remained intact, and so it’s not particularly surprising that he meshes in nicely with the trio of Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte.  Iggy’s always had a quality of fuck it, I’m gonna be me when I sing, no matter the environment.  It’s an approach that serves him well on this session.  On “Don’t Lose Yourself,” it’s a kick back and roar, with equal doses of sardonic wit and effortless fun.  And on title-track “Loneliness Road,” a focused delivery syncs up nicely with a heavier blues.  “Everyday” is the closest to thing to a song falling flat.  Iggy falls victim to the same pitfall that Tom Waits occasionally fell victim to when trying to sing with a jazz voice instead of just singing out.  Nothing wrong with the track, but it’s not up to snuff with its counterparts.

But this album is much more than an intriguing vocal contribution.  It has at its core three musicians who, themselves, have been known to make left field entries of their own, too.  So it’s a treat to hear Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte take a straight-ahead path on this recording.  The highly charged “Ten Nights” sparks off all kinds of electricity, but it’s more lovely light show than impending fire hazard.  The tempo and tone swings in the opposite direction on subsequent track “Little Harbor,” but the ballad resonates no less than did its predecessor.  It’s a transformative effect that’s even more dramatic when the trio then turns to whispers on “Bookmaking” in the softest of voices.  But then there’s the late night blues “Pinkus” and the thank-god-Spring-is-here-again joyfulness of “The Barrier” as reminders that the flow from song to song is only as effective as the individual statements of emotion that flow is bridging.

Your album personnel:  Jamie Saft (piano), Steve Swallow (electric bass), Bobby Previte (drums) and guest: Iggy Pop (vocals).

Released on RareNoise Records.

Listen to additional album tracks on the label’s site.

Available at:  Amazon | eMusic