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June 2006

Bobby Previte
The Coalition of the Willing
Ropeadope

One benefit of playing rock as a skilled jazzer is that you can borrow capably from whatever genre of rock you want. Given an extra disc to work with, drummer Bobby Previte might have tapped them all. As it stands, any fan of some form of rock through the ’80s will find something familiar on his The Coalition of the Willing. All of the music here is straight genre exercise. The recording ranges from self-contained efforts like the quivering chunk of ’80s metal that is “The Ministry of Love” to tunes that cycle from one genre to the next. “Oceania,” for example, puts Charlie Hunter’s Roger McGuinn jangle to a New Orleans backbeat before cycling through surf rock and then, seemingly from nowhere, dancehall.

Previte’s work with Hunter in the Groundtruther project has been listing in this rockish direction, so it’s hardly surprising for him to turn out a straight-up rock record. For this expanded ensemble, Previte chose players who know the terrain. The players give this rock-based material the jazzman’s treatment, however. All the tunes are long and solo heavy. Previte adds some nice textural touches here, and the band has impressive range, but the results are pretty generic.

Originally published in June 2006
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