A great many things come to mind when asked to describe drummer Bobby Previte: adventurous and original, creative and bold, authentic and edgy, always holding true to what he deems is musically important. The two newest additions to his already extensive library bolster an already colorful and inspiring career.
Verge was recorded in 1979 (and 1986) and remastered in 1999 by Katherine Miller. The album has 14 explosive tracks composed by Previte, performed by some of the most energetic players of the era. "Mingus" bursts forth with Lenny Pickett's tenor sax and David Alderson's trumpet on a finger-twisting melody reminiscent of the titular influence. Alderson shows particular dexterity in his solo, weaving in and out of the horn's register. The aptly-named "Soundtrack" resides in some unmade murder mystery, exemplifying Previte's varied composing palate.
April in New York is an adventurous compilation of DVDs documenting five live performances with Previte in a duo setting with some of his favorite improvisers, filmed in an abandoned bank building near Wall Street, which the drummer took over for a week to put on these gigs. The stage design is simple, yet moving. In front of a plain white background, lights are shone on the performers, their shadows becoming moving pieces of spontaneous art.
Each duet is unique and shows off different aspects of Previte's drumming, both on electric and acoustic drums. The musical worlds created are enthralling from the first disc and although the players are varied Skerik, Zeena Parkins, Benton-C Bainbridge, Elliott Sharp and Marco Benevento and on different instruments, a definite aesthetic theme is present. A particular highpoint is how, with an arrangement of distortion pedals and microphones, Benevento will have you wondering if this is jazz or something better suited to a mosh pit.
Tracks and Personnel
Verge: Pull To Open/Bump the Renaissance
Personnel: Bobby Previte; Lenny Pickett; Tom Varner; Dave Hofstra, and more
April in New York
Personnel: Bobby Previte; Skerik; Zeena Parkins; Benton-C Bainbridge; Elliott Sharp; Marco Benvento.