One of the original figures from the late 70s and early 80s’ “downtown” scene in New York City, Bobby Previte’s reputation for artful and electrifying drumming and startling fresh compositions has only grown. In the 80s, the veteran drummer put together an amazing band called Bump that centered around the swinging trio of Previte, pianist and longtime associate Wayne Horvitz and electric bass legend Steve Swallow. They soon were dubbed the “Led Zeppelin of Jazz.”
While the original plan called for only one tour, the band is still together 15 years later. Tenor sax man Marty Ehrlich and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes round out the band on Counterclockwise. Fowlkes replaces Ray Anderson, who was featured on 2001’s Just Add Water.
Previte has received many grants, awards and accolades throughout his career:
“Hot Jazz Artist” Rolling Stone
“Striking originality” Newsweek
“150 Who Moved Jazz” Jazziz
“Fearless” The Oregonian
Very much a renaissance man, he’s released many records as a leader and has appeared on numerous others as a drummer. Two recent projects of his include the critically-acclaimed classical CD, The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró, and the rock-oriented Psychological, with an electronic band he’s part of, Ponga. With Bump and Ponga, Previte travels around the world. But rather than adhere to a regular schedule, he’s always adhered to the philosophy of only recording when he has something significant to say.
Counterclockwise offers an amazing musical mouthful. The title itself represents how different Bump’s repertoire and approach are now from its creation or even the previous recording. This CD is a bit more conceptual, more of a mix of prepared and improvised music. “It’s a rhythmic record, real propulsive,” Previte explains. “ That might be an understatement when it comes to Previte’s hard-core playing.
Recorded in Washington State following the band’s west coast tour, the immediate vitality of their live performances is evident here. With no ballads, the music never seems to stop, and it rarely slows down. It’s very much a driving sound, with one strong vibe throughout, as indicated by Previte’s thematic “soul” titles.
Recently Jazz Times stated that, “There’s a strong case to be made for Bobby Previte being not only one of the hardest-working drummers in jazz but also one of the most prolific and stylistically wide-ranging composers of the past 20 years.” This CD is yet another testament to that and how for Previte, rhythm and sound reign supreme.