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August 2008

Bobby Previte & the New Bump
Set the Alarm for Monday
Palmetto Records

You couldn’t dare call composer Bobby Previte staid, swinging as he does not only as a drummer but also from genre to genre and quirk to quirk. Previte likes to keep things new. How new? He’s even found a New Bump in players like trumpeter Steven Bernstein, vibraphonist Bill Ware and saxophonist Ellery Eskelin to replace the old Bump he formed around pianist/pal Wayne Horwitz and bassist Steve Swallow.

While that trio formed the old Bump from a series of frenetic live events in 1998, the New Bump seems motivated by something more hermetically sealed. The New Bump creates an imaginary soundtrack with album cover phrases like “Palmetto Studios” and “Starring” acting as a movie’s “credits” and song titles (“I’m On to Her”) that come across like a script’s knowing plot points. While the smoky subtone glare of Eskelin’s tenor, the ring of Ware’s sexy vibraphone and the slow roll of rhythm that is Previte, percussionist Jim Pugliese and bassist Brad Jones during the title track point to film noir’s diffuse light, the remainder of Previte’s story lifts the fog and shadow for something equally diabolical but more proactive. “I’d Advise You Not to Miss Your Train” is one duel in the sun after another: silver-tone trumpet blares atop faded yellow sax lines, bouncing bongos versus kinetic drum rolls. “She Has Information” lets its crew join hands with saxophonist Eskelin and bassist Jones riding the same rhythmic bounce to let a wood block’s kick, a muted trumpet’s toot and a vibraphone’s echoing hum linger atop the samba-like fray.

Originally published in August 2008
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