Bobby Previte

Too Close to the Pole

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Too Close to the Pole Review

by Scott Yanow

From its opening eccentric fanfare (which pops up briefly in other selections) through the wild group vocal on "Save the Cups" and "3 Minute Heels" (which sounds like Indian music for belly dancers), drummer Bobby Previte's Weather Clear, Track Fast band on this Enja release is continually colorful, cinematic (one can easily imagine crazy adventures occurring), and unpredictable. Although quite advanced, the expert use of repetition, complex but catchy rhythms, and echoey call-and-response riffing results in a complete lack of forgettable or routine moments. In addition to the six listed selections, there is an odd extra "bonus": an unidentified seventh song that is a five-part, 15-minute suite mostly featuring Andrew D'Angelo's bass clarinet. Although there are strong individual heroics from the sextet (such as Jamie Saft's organ and retro Fender Rhodes playing, Andy Laster's versatile flights on baritone, and Previte's stirring percussive work), it is the chance-taking spirit of the musicians and their performances as a whole that make this a memorable release well worth several listens.

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