Charlie Hunter & Bobby Previte as Groundtruther: Longitude

Michael McCaw By

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Charlie Hunter & Bobby Previte as Groundtruther: Longitude Groundtruther is an interesting project for Charlie Hunter and Bobby Previte. Each player has long established a solid musical realm of his own on recordings, but with their Groundtruther collaboration, they have found a guise that allows them to experiment well beyond their usual territories. This also explains why Matthew Shipp and Thirsty Ear are releasing a trilogy of albums by the duo (plus a guest on each), Longitude being the second.

Following the cerebral, flattened sound of Latitude (featuring alto saxophonist Greg Osby), Groundtruther welcomes DJ Logic as its third member this time around for an album of raucous, stimulating music that's just as dynamic as its predecessor, but in an entirely different context. Logic allows a simpatico sound to be formed that's unlike anything any one of them has yet recorded, yielding a loud ripping trio that brings more to the table than one would think imaginable. And one is made aware of this array of sounds from the very get go with the opening "Transit of Venus."

To be sure, Hunter will, and has, received the most press due to the tone he employs on his eight-string guitar, sounding more akin to Jimi Hendrix than anything he has employed in the past (and a listen to "Dead Reckoning" will have you thinking he is channeling the same spirit). Nonetheless, Bobby Previte is the real catalyst here. Integrating his electro-acoustic kit into the mix to a greater and more effective degree, Previte pushes his sound to the foreground and instigates interactivity from his partners, an immeasurable asset.

"Prime Meridian" is a fine example of how the three negotiate their constantly shifting musical aesthetic. Contained within are a myriad of themes and improvisations developed and discarded, only to be reused again later on. Previte pushes the song along through both his kit and samples, while DJ Logic provides a sonic bed for Hunter to weave in and out of. And truly, moments like these are where one realizes the trio's best asset is its interactivity. These musicians sound like a trio and not a one off unit. Everything on the album is interactive and cohesive, loose but taut, and behind every nuanced sound is a fine musician manipulating it.

Overall, Longitude is an exhilarating ride, whether you listen in the car or on headphones intending to soak every note in. It raises the bar for the trilogy's conclusion, Altitude. Even so, more of this particular incarnation would be more than welcome.

Track Listing: Transit of Venus; Tycho Brache; March 1741, Cape Horn; Course Made Good; Dead Reckoning; Medicean Stars; Jupiter Mask; H-4; Back-Quadrant; Epherimedes; Prime Meridian; South Heading; Untitled.

Personnel: Charlie Hunter: 8-string guitar; Bobby Previte: drums, percussion, electronics; DJ Logic: turntables.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


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