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Published: 2008/04/24
by Brad Farberman

Set the Alarm For Monday – Bobby Previte and the New Bump

Palmetto Records

While digging into Bobby Previte’s new record, the vibes-heavy Set The Alarm For Monday, I was reminded of the famous Eric Dolphy quote about working with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson.

“Bobby’s vibes have a freer, more open sound than a piano,” said Dolphy. “Pianos seem to control you, Bobby’s vibes seem to open you up.”

Likewise, it seems that the vibraphonist and Jazz Passenger Bill Ware has opened up Previte’s music on said album. Which is not to say that Previte’s music was closed-up before. Quite the contrary. But, with the addition of vibes and the absence of any guitar or keyboards in the music, there’s just so much space it’s beautiful.

Plus, as usual, Previte has chosen a group of remarkable players to roam in that space. The core group is a quartet, featuring Ware, tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Brad Jones and Previte behind the kit. And on the record, they’re augmented by Steven Bernstein (who else?) on trumpet and percussionist Jim Pugliese. So, based on the personnel alone, one might imagine that there are some fireworks on this album.

And they wouldn’t be wrong. Set The Alarm is nine tracks of burning, mysterious noir-jazz, with song titles to match (“She Has Information,” “I’m On To Her,” “Were You Followed?”). But this is no Coalition of the Willing, my friends. Where Coalition rocked and rioted, Set The Alarm boils and bumps. It’s a nice change of pace.

In particular, check out “I’d Advise You Not To Miss Your Train,” which opens with some great interplay between Previte and Pugliese (while Bernstein does his thing on top), and “There Was Something In My Drink,” a vehicle for the horns in 5.

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