Assertive in nature, Bobby Previte’s music pushes with a driving rock groove. His band improvises along modern mainstream lines, while bringing repetitious shuffles and gallops into the format. Because the leader/drummer prefers to allow his steady groove to take control, the session tires quickly. In the absence of swing, Previte urges his quintet toward a higher state of improvisation. A part of the session finds piano swirling with dramatic fury, or tenor saxophone raising the bar in a state of anxious animation. Other parts of the program, however, forge a stale formula of loud and unison toe-tappers.
The influence of Charles Mingus is powerful enough to put a feather in Previte’s cap. “Bobby’s Next Mood” cries out with anguish and passion. Only a courageous leader would stretch the modern mainstream that far. However, the program also includes long, boring stretches that carry the mood of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” down sleepy, country lanes.
Timothy Young’s guitar adds a distinctive flavor to the final piece. Pedal tones from Curtis Fowlkes’ trombone and soulful cries from Marty Ehrlich’s tenor create a unique bluegrass landscape. Of the five “Soul” pieces, this final one speaks with the most emotional attachment. This results from the decision on Previte’s part to abandon the monotonous rhythmic pulse that controls the other four “Soul” pieces. Uneven in its perceived originality, Counterclockwise nevertheless contains enough bright spots to warrant its rightful place on the modern jazz collector’s shelf.
Personnel: Bobby Previte- drums; Steve Swallow- electric bass; Wayne Horvitz- piano; Marty Ehrlich- tenor
saxophone; Curtis Fowlkes- trombone; Timothy Young- guitar on