You can always count on Bobby Previte to give you something innovative, something that sews new seams between musical genres. Rhapsody was commissioned by the 2015 Greenfield Prize for Music, enabling the composer-drummer to complete the second part of his trilogy, which began with Terminals in 2014 and is meant to explore the experience of travel.
Anyone who heard Terminals probably had unreasonably high expectations for Rhapsody. The former is a set of five concertos written for the Brooklyn ensemble So Percussion, each featuring a soloist—Previte, John Medeski, Nels Cline, Zeena Parkins, Greg Osby—and creating an array of different tones and moods within the percussion tradition. Rhapsody brings back many of the soloists—the Austrian Fabian Rucker replaces Osby on alto, and vocalist Jen Shyu is added—to comprise a formidable sextet.