RHAPSODY: an acoustic sextet commissioned by the Greenfield Prize in Music at the Hermitage Artist Retreat

 Rhapsody - 5' excerpt video -  live at Roulette, New York City, March 2, 2018

L to R: Zeena Parkins - harp, John Medeski - piano, Nels Cline - guitars, Bobby Previte - trap drums, Jen Shyu - voice, erhu. Fabian Rucker - alto saxophone

In 2015, Previte received the Greenfield Prize in music at the Hermitage Artist Retreat to create a new work. Terminals Part II: In Transit (or RHAPSODY) is the result. RHAPSODY is the second in a three-part series exploring the experience of travel. Terminals Part I: DEPARTURES, is a set of five concertos written for the visionary percussion group SO Percussion and five improvisers. This piece premiered at Merkin Hall in New York City in 2011 and the recording was released on Cantaloupe Music in 2014. In RHAPSODY, the improvisers from DEPARTURES, each of whom had been selected based on their ability to separately carry fifteen-minute concertos, were thrown together into one ensemble.

Beginning from the point of view of a passenger sitting comfortably in an airplane, RHAPSODY twists and turns, until the traveler finally arrives on an unfamiliar shore.

What is the experience of being in transit? Separated from your home but not yet at your destination, you are neither here nor there, confined with strangers in an intimate environment for a predetermined amount of time. Uncomfortable, yet somehow free. To travel is to be bound with these strangers by faith—faith in the vessel which carries you, faith in the people who operate it, and ultimately, faith in the strangers waiting at your destination.

 

  Released February 23, 2018, on RareNoise Records

Released February 23, 2018, on RareNoise Records

"The work, which bears the subtitle “Terminals Part II: In Transit,” unfolds with dizzying intensity and convulsing complexity, often employing abstraction to evoke the dislocation of travel." - The New York Times

"Boasting a stupendous sound and concept, as well as an unconventional repertoire of converging influences and metaphors, this is a masterwork by a fearless musician who never ceases to innovate." - Jazz Trail

"In a word, Rhapsody is great, but that's too easy to say outright. Rhapsody is just a tremendous, open-ended listen in the greatest sense of the phrase." - Pop Matters    

"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. 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." - ECM Reviews

"This is a truly distinctive album that blends very effectively the writing with the individual voices of a very powerful ensemble."  -London Jazz News

"Fresh sounding, diverse and modern. " - Jazz Music Archives

-"May prove to be a landmark event." - Sarasota Herald Tribune