Bobby Previte – Rhapsody (2018) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Bobby Previte – Rhapsody (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:04:13 minutes | 1,14 GB | Genre: Jazz fusion & Jazz rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front cover | © RareNoiseRecords

Highly respected drummer and prolific composer Bobby Previte continues his Terminals trilogy with “Rhapsody”, a song cycle on the subject of transit and migration. Subtitled In Transit: Terminals II, Previte’s newest work was scored for acoustic sextet and features fellow composerimprovisers in guitarist Nels Cline, harpist Zeena Parkins, pianist John Medeski, vocalist, alto saxophonist Fabian Rucker and vocalist-erhu player Jen Shyu.

For the second installment of his Terminals trilogy, an ongoing ode to transit and migration, drummer Bobby Previte has convened a dream group. Although featuring musicians often found in electr(on)ic settings, Rhapsody unfolds a grand mise-en-scène by purely acoustic means. “Casting Off” and “I Arrive,” respectively, begin and end the album by threading the vocal delivery of Jen Shyu (whose erhu playing is another distinct color in this palette) through the netting of John Medeski’s piano and Fabian Rucker’s alto saxophone. As the center of the action, Shyu imbues Previte’s lyrics (a first for him) with theatrical punch, singing the role of an airplane traveler cycling through various stages of self-awareness until she reaches her unknown destination under cover of night. That state of liminality—of hanging suspended between locations with only a thin layer of metal and composite between you and certain death—is beautifully rendered in Previte’s downright cinematic movements, each of which variously highlights the strengths of one or more of his bandmates. Medeski shines in “When I Land,” his precise syncopations seeming to chart every leg of the journey, and, in tandem with harpist Zeena Parkins, he renders the backdrop of tracks like “The Lost” and “The Timekeeper” while Ruckman carefully links his own chains of melody and abstraction. Hearing Parkins unplugged is an especial privilege; in this context, her crystalline beauty feels nearly all-consuming. Guitarist Nels Cline treads a parallel path and to highest effect in “All Hands,” in which his slide guitar sounds almost like a pipa. Previte himself completes the picture, playing an assortment of drums and percussion and, in “Last Stand/Final Approach,” autoharp and harmonica to boot. He treats himself no differently than his other musicians, letting his singular compositional voice ring over all, handing us a light to navigate the darkness in which he leaves us.

01 – Casting Off
02 – All The World
03 – The Lost
04 – When I Land
05 – The Timekeeper
06 – Coming About
07 – All Hands
08 – Last Stand / Final Approach
09 – I Arrive

Bobby Previte – trap drums, percussion, autoharp, guitar, harmonica
Nels Cline – acoustic guitar, slide guitar, twelve string guitar
Jen Shyu – voice, er hu
Fabian Rucker – saxophone
Zeena Parkins – harp
John Medeski – piano



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