Super Group of the Week

Coalition of the Willing

— Tyler Blue

While some musicians are content to stay the course, those like Bobby Previte can’t ignore the little voice inside asking, “What if?” As in, “What if I recruited three of the hottest, avant-garde jazz players on the scene and created a ‘super bar band’?” And, “What if we called it ‘Coalition of the Willing’?” Sure … that sounds good. But who the heck is Bobby Previte?

Well, as a hyper-motivated bandleader, Previte certainly doesn’t fit the slacker drummer image of yesteryear. Emerging from the shadows of intellectual institutions and New York studio sessions, the globe-hopping beatmaster has been quietly making waves since the late ’70s, most notably with his appearance in Robert Altman’s film Short Cuts. But whoever this mysterious drummer is, he must hold some serious weight to cherry pick these three cats for his team.

Playing a nontraditional instrument is considered awfully hip lately, and no one does it better than eight-stringed guitar wizard Charlie Hunter. The chisel-jawed New Yorker has captivated SOhO audiences again and again with his dexterous balancing act, juggling guitar and bass duties simultaneously. Hunter is all too familiar with the “superband” phenomenon as he also anchors Garage-à-Trois along with saxophone bad boy — and willing Coalition member — Skerik. A fixture in Seattle’s acid jazz scene, the uni-monikered Skerik fits the mad scientist bill better than any. The enigmatic horn freak can squawk like an alien or serenade like a songbird.

Rounding out the Coalition is the alluringly named darkhorse, Marco Benevento. The young organ dynamo is used to filling a whole world of sonic space in The Duo and will be put to the test finding his niche within this improvisational stew. What awaits, we just don’t know. Come find out next Tuesday, May 23 at SOhO.

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