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Bobby Previte


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A series of albums recorded in the late '80s established Bobby Previte as one of the relatively few jazz drummers who are also composers of significance, alongside Jack DeJohnette, Bob Moses, and a handful of others.
In 1973, Previte received his B.A. in music from the University of Buffalo, where he studied percussion with Jan Williams. He moved to New York City in 1979, where he collaborated with many of the musicians who would put "downtown" on the map. His first album as a leader was Bump the Renaissance (1987), followed in short order by Pushing the Envelope (1987) and Claude's Late Morning (1988), the latter two released by Gramavision. The albums were enthusiastically reviewed, and established his reputation as one of jazz's more visionary composers. Previte has since composed for a variety of contexts, from the new music aggregation Relache to his Music of the Moscow Circus album. During the '90s, Previte-led bands included Empty Suits, Weather Clear, Track Fast, Latin for Travelers, and the Horse; the latter was an 11-piece group playing music from Miles Davis' Bitches Brew period. Previte has also produced two records by accordionist Guy Klucevsek, recorded an album of solo electronic music, and appeared as an actor in the Robert Altman film Short Cuts. In 2014, Previte was part of the New Standard trio with keyboardist Jamie Saft and bassist Steve Swallow. They issued their self-titled debut on RareNoise in May of that year. It was followed by the Cantaloupe release of his own long composition, Terminals, performed by So Percussion, the composer, Zeena Parkins, Greg Osby, Nels Cline, and John Medeski. Two years later, Previte released Mass, his proper follow-up, also on RareNoise. The recording was a modernist post-metal reimagining of 15th century composer Guillaume Dufay's Missa Sancti Jacobi. For its realization, the drummer enlisted Marco Benevento to play a cathedral pipe organ, the 11-voice Rose Ensemble chorale conducted by Jordan Sramek, four electric guitarists -- Stephen O'Malley, Jamie Saft, Don McGreevy, and Mike Gamble -- and Reed Mathis on bass. Mass was released in November of 2016. ~ Chris Kelsey, Rovi


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