Drummer/composer Bobby Previte, and others of note helped characterize what is now known as New York City's "downtown" scene. After a string of successful recordings for the Gramavision and ENJA labels, the artist rebounds onto the scene with his initial outing for Palmetto Records. With this release, Previte reaps the benefits of an all-star aggregation. And while this production might not break much new ground, the band does kick up a storm amid a few transcendent interludes and blaring choruses. On the opener, "Put Away Your Crayons," tenor player Marty Ehrlich and trombonist Ray Anderson get the gears in motion with soaring extended notes and flourishing crescendos. Previte frequently launches the band into a series of bouncy grooves which allow for radiant soloing. Ehrlich's melancholic lyricism and soulful lines on the poignant ballad "Nice Try" serves as middle ground for the band's continuance of New Orleans-tinged riffs and swaggering swing motifs.
Just Add Water is a strong effort, although it's not one of Previte's sterling artistic achievements (he's had more than just a few). The material is solid and memorable. And as one would expect, the soloists perform with a vengeance. Recommended.