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Bobby Previte — The Coalition of the Willing
(Ropeadope 0-20286-20712-2, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Powerhouse drummer Bobby Previte picks up his songwriting pen again for his new all-star combo album. Tagging along again is close friend Charlie Hunter, coerced into playing Telecaster leads on this impressive set of eight inspired studio works. Compared to the duo’s recent Groundtruther endeavors, this band rocks with a unique hybrid that avoids the traps of jazz fusion by injecting country twang of the highest form. Sax man Skerik (Critters Buggin) coughs up mean contributions best heard on pieces such as “Airstrip One” and “Versificator.” Previte’s studio band also includes a competent brass section that provide chordal stabs on two tracks. Organist Jamie Saft adds a much appreciated Jimmy Smith groove across the disc and lays down his best licks on “The Ministry of Love.” As a composer, Previte relies heavily on his choice of unique players to interpret his crafted jazz vision with strong results. Unexpectedly, the first live incarnation of the band (with Marco Benevento on keys) superseded nearly all the studio performances with a vital resolve. The band is back out on the road again this fall covering the East Coast this time with Robert Walter in the keyboard chair. No doubt it will also be a must see gig for jam fans who also enjoy hybrid fusion.
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