by Piotr Marek, Jr.

I think that Bobby Previte is one of the most underrated among great jazz artists. Although his music seems to be so innovative as - for example - work of Gary Thomas, Steve Coleman, Greg Osby and other M-BASE'ers thus his mother label Gramavision refused to issue his last recording due to it's too experimenttal.

My first meeting with Bobby Previte's music was CD included in 1994's February issue of monthly magazine called "JAZZ a go-go". This CD contained one premiere cut of his EMPTY SUITS band called "Waltz". At this time I became his great fan despite of rarely avalaible CDs with his music in Poland.

was born in on 16th of July 1951 in Niagara Falls, NY, USA. Studied at the Buffalo University. In 1980 moved from Buffalo to New York. He's drummer and composer as well. Except jazz his intrests cover classical and film music (to Robert Altman's film "Shortcuts"). In 1990 he earned "talented musician" title in Annual Down Beat Critics Poll and in 1991 the title of "Hot Jazz Artist" of Rolling Stone magazine. His music cooperation is related to such artists as John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Elliot Sharp and Mark Helias.

Bobby Previte leads himself two different groups - electric and more weird EMPTY SUITS (with such musicians like Robin Eubanks, Steve Gaboury, Wayne Horvitz and Jerome Harris) and acoustic WEATHER CLEAR, TRACK FAST (with Don Byron, Anthony Cox, and others).
Oddly enough the Empty Suits name was taken from a letter to one of newspapers which was written by a man voting for Republicans all his life. When Dan Quayle was to become the vice-president he voted for Democrats saying that he wouldn't let "Empty Suits" people to lead the country. "Empty Suits" - due to nice suits and emty minds. Bobby Previte refers it to the world of Jazz too.

Patrice Roussel maintains Bobby Previte Home Page at WNUR-FM so after You finish reading mine look at this location:



Although Bobby Previte's recordings as leader and compositor are few but the whole listing of the most of the projects he participated in is very long and impressive.

His work is so scattered that I have decided to devide it into a few groups.

Items listed below are arranged chronologicaly by the date of recording (or by the date of issue if recording date is unknown or multiple).

Most CDs` details are compiled by Patrice Roussel.


as leader

"Pull To Open" 1980
"Bump The Renaissance" 1985
"Pushing The Envelope" 1987
"Dull Bang, Gushing Sound, Human Shriek" 1986
"Claude's Late Morning" 1988
"Empty Suits" 1990
"Weather Clear, Track Fast" 1991
"Music Of The Moscow Circus" 1991
"Slay The Suitors" 1993
"Hue and Cry" 1993

as co-leader

Corporate Art "Corporate Art" 1991
Tom Varner, Mike Richmond, Bobby Previte "Cover Action" 1987

with Wayne Horvitz - Butch Morris - Bobby Previte trio

"Nine Below Zero" 1986
"Todos Santos" 1988

with Marty Ehrlich

"Pliant Plaint" 1987
"The Traveller's Tale" 1990
"Can You Hear A Motion?" 1994

with Wayne Horvitz/The President

"The President" 1987
"This New Generation" 1987
"Bring Yr Camera" 1988
"Miracle Mile" 1992

with Guy Klucevsek

"Flying Vegetables Of The Apocalypse" 1991 (two tracks)
"Polka Dots & Laser Beams" 1990 (one Previte's composition)

with Elliot Sharp/Carbon

"Virtual Stance" 1986
"Fractal" 1986
"Larynx" 1987
"Monster Curve" 1988 (four tracks)
"Sili/Contemp/Tation" 1990 (five tracks)
"Nots" (one track)1992

with John Zorn

"The Big Gundown" 1986 (four tracks)
"Cobra" 1986
"Spillane" 1987
"Cynical Hysterie Hour" 1988
"Cynical Hysterie Hour - Trip Coaster" 1989
"Film Works, 1986-1990" 1991

with other artists

Tom Waits "Rain Dogs" 1985 (one track)
David Fulton "Like Chignick" 1986 (one track)
Victoria Williams "Happy Come Home" 1987
Jeffrey Schanzer Ensemble "Vistas" 1987
David Fulton "Marcos & Harry" 1988 (one track)
Robin Holcomb "Larks, They Crazy" 1988
Seigen Ono "Nekonotopia Nekonomania" 1988 (one track)
Tim Berne's Caos Totale "Pace Yourself" 1990
Paul Dresher & Ned Rothenberg "Opposites Attract" 1990
Bill Horvitz "Solo Guitar & Ensemble Pieces" 1991 (three tracks)
Andreas Willers "Cityscape" 1992 (five tracks)
Iggy Pop "Wild America" 1993 (one track)
Paul Haines "Darn It!" 1993 (one track)
Tim Berne's Caos Totale "Nice View" 1994

various recordings

Some critics' opinions:

"This progressive/creative drummer and bandleader presents a most unique perspective in modern improvised music. Third World influences creep in, and he handles free music capably."
Michael G. Nastos

"A free-wheeling drummer and percussionist whose compositions and sessions range from jazz-rock, fusion and New age to free and blues, Bobby Previte has played with several of the "downtown" performers, including Wayne Horovitz and John Zorn. He began recording as a leader in the mid-'80s, and has done sessions for Sound Aspects, Gramavision and Enja. Previte's done sessions with Robin Eubanks, Marty Erhlich, Tom Varner, Jerome Harris and Elliot Sharp among others. All his dates are available on CD."
Ron Wynn

The biggest contributions and my appreciations for help in making this discography go to:

D.D. Robert Jackson (my good Internet friend - let me hope - who was so kind sending me citations and list of official Bobby Previte CDs as leader at the beginning of my work)

Joe Germuska from WNUR Radio who responded with mail announcing his jazz Web server and Booby Previte Home Page at WNUR. SEE BELOW:

Patrice L. Roussel (who did truely amazing job gathering all Bobby Previte work together and whos Home Page of Bobby Previte I discovered thru WNUR server a couple of weeks after I decided to make my own).

PLEASE NOTE: Patrice Roussel is the author of most CDs` details - my work was to put it together more hipertextically than he did at his Page. In fact we`re in touch and exchange informations. Also I`m planning to add some of Bobby Previte`s photos and CDs covers. Maybe I can manage to publish here an authorized interview with Bobby Previte from 1994.

and Polish monthly "JAZZ a go-go" magazine (which infected me with the Bobby Previte's music - refer to the beginning of the story, and for many useful informations taken from issue No.2/1994)

Please NOTE: This Home Page is supposed to be for informational purpose only AND can have some mistakes, so if You see anything that's wrong or requires correction You're welcomed to e-mail me:

Piotr Marek, Jr.