Picks and Pans Review: Claude's Late Morning
Drummer and composer Bobby Previte, a veteran of the downtown Manhattan experimental music scene, leads a nine-member ensemble here through a kaleidoscopic array of sonic dreamscapes. Previte mixes genres with gleeful abandon, using unlikely instrumentation to create shifting grids of sound over hypnotic rhythmic patterns. Each tune has a character and a setting all its own. On the title cut accordionist Guy Klucevsek fades in and out of a darkly enchanting melody with lighter-than-air motifs that evoke the ambience of a Parisian sidewalk café. Adopting an even more ethereal tone on "Ballet," Previte performs a melodic pas de deux on marimba, with Ray Anderson on trombone. A staccato drum-machine roll on "The Voice" suggests a hyperkinetic reporter pounding away on deadline at an old typewriter and sets the stage for guitarist Bill Frisell to ride his wah-wah pedal on soaring blues riffs.
Switching to banjo for "First Song for Kate," Frisell goes Nashville with pedal steel guitarist Josh Dubin, while Carol Emanuel gently punctuates the down-home musical exchange with some wry commentary on the harp. "The King So Far" opens with a theme that's reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's old spaghetti Westerns but it quickly changes venues to conjure up images of an African safari. There is little overdubbing or editing on Claude's Late-Morning, and the seamless unions of composition and improvisation are spellbinding. Here is an album worthy of repeated listening, and it comes with the guarantee that you will hear something new every time. (Gramavision)