James “Iggy Pop” Osterberg is one of a handful of figures who need zero introduction to Dangerous Minds’ readers. Not just a godfather of punk rock in his capacity as vocalist for the Stooges, but a far greater champion and exponent of its aesthetic and ethos than fellow proto-punk figures like Reed, Tyner, and Bowie. His influence was and remains incalculable—TRY to imagine David Johansen, Nick Cave, Johnny Rotten, or Stiv Bators without elements of Iggy’s bratty, combative, and entirely unhinged stage persona to draw from. He’s settled into a marvelous and once-improbable-seeming afterlife as one of music’s great coolest-guy-ever figures, holding a similar status in rock ’n’ roll as Bill Murray does in the film world. But sorry not sorry, Iggy’s cooler.
The date of this posting is Pop’s 70th birthday (happy birthday, sir, and thanks for all the awesome shit), and even at this age, he continues to explore new territory. Today, it’s Dangerous Minds’ pleasure to premiere a new track featuring Pop singing with Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, and Bobby Previte, the jazz trio behind 2014’s acclaimed album The New Standard, a title they used as a band name for a spell, but it didn’t stick. A traditional piano/bass/drums trio, Saft, Swallow and Previte have earned justified praise for straddling trad and transformative, jumping genres and modalities effortlessly while preserving the ineffably cool feeling of mid-century instrumental jazz, never becoming precious or NPRishly slick—Swallow’s bass playing is brawny and fiercely eclectic, and pianist Saft and drummer Previte are both former Zorn collaborators, so preciousness is likely not part of their vocabularies. Their forthcoming album Loneliness Road features Iggy Pop’s vocal contributions on three tracks, the title track, “Don’t Lose Yourself,” and “Everyday.” It’s the title track we’re sharing today. Enjoy.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Iggy Pop and his pop, for pop
‘Knockin’ ‘Em Down in the City’: Iggy Pop rocks the Cleveland local news, 1979
Iggy Pop singing ‘Surfin’ Bird’ to his cockatoo is exactly what the world needs now