Music » CD Reviews

Bobby Previte

The Coalition of the Willing (Ropeadope)

by

comment
44788.0.jpeg
Anyone who still believes that "artistic" jazz is a pastime of a snobbish cultural elite that excludes Joe and Jane Bagodonuts ought to listen to the latest opus from drummer-composer Bobby Previte. The Coalition of the Willing finds Previte liberating the "fusion" concept from easy-listening banality; he presents a potent intermingling of jazz improvisation, biting blues riffs, fiercely glistening guitars, taut orchestral-sounding textures, mutant reggae rhythms, and pounding rock thwap.

The songs feature immediate, engaging melodies and pointed, passionate soloing -- no noodling, no tedious self-absorption. "Memory Hole" contrasts Steven Bernstein's mournful trumpet with Stew Cutler's sizzling, Chicago-blues harmonica over a smoldering bed of ominously shimmering organ and spare drums. "Anthem for Andrea" is driven by a dense, Led Zeppelin-like hammer-of-the-gods motif, against which Skerik lets loose some tormented but focused tenor saxophone lightning. "The Ministry of Truth" is like a cross between King Crimson and the Ventures -- dramatic, careening surf music for the apocalypse. Throughout, Previte's drums crackle, and guitarist Charlie Hunter displays a much wider range than on his own albums, jangling like McGuinn and Peter Buck, stinging like Robert Cray. Both foreboding and cathartic, Coalition is a fitting soundtrack for our increasingly tense times.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.