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Bobby Previte's musical evolution has been most fascinating. The records he's made for a variety of labels show an astonishing scope but, amazingly, there has never really been a disconnect, even now playing "electronic" drums or instrumental rock music. Color and expression have always been paramount in Previte's output and his palette has always been directed towards finding and creating form and beauty.
So to his latest adventure, an explosive collection of instrumental rock music. Previte seems to have listened to everythingthe music on Coalition suggests Led Zeppelin, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (from the heyday of psychedelia), Hawaiian slack key music, soundtrack music for spy films and a hundred other things. Previte takes advantage of his recent collaboration with Charlie Hunter to find brilliant new means of expression for the guitarist. On "The Inner Party Hunter plays slide guitar, of all things, and, with Jamie Saft on Hammond organ and Stew Cutler on slide guitar and harmonica, the band sounds like some sort of nutty Hawaiian islands confection.
This same basic quartet is the foundation for nearly every track and they pull out all the stops, creating a sound that is funky and danceable as well as smart and powerful. And they never seem to stop having fun. The opening track, "The Ministry of Truth, calls to mind a tight, killer version of Iron Butterfly. And on two tunes Previte has a partner on drumsGalactic's Stanton Moore lends a kind of New Orleans space funk.
The band adds horns on several tunesSteven Bernstein on trumpet and Skerik on tenor and baritoneand, joining in the trip, they make Coalition both float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. The musical madness culminates in "Anthem for Andrea, a hymn to Previte's daughter. Both horns take skittering solos over a strong groove and the guitars and drums dance, giving full veracity to the notion that this is a wacky and different kind of bar band.
Track Listing: The Ministry of Truth; Airstrip One; Versificator; The Ministry of Love; Oceania; The Inner Party; Memory Hole; Anthem for Andrea.
Personnel: Steven R. Berstein: trumpet;
Stew Cutler: harmonica, slide guitar;
Charlie Hunter: guitar, electric bass;
Stanton Moore: drums;
Bobby Previte: guitar, percussion, drums;
Jamie Saft: Organ, mellotron, moog bass;
Skerik: baritone, tenor sax.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.