Noah Preminger: Before The Rain (2011)
Sensitivity and an ear for aural sophistication are the hallmarks of tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger. His eloquent ruminations magnify the context of a tune and he is instinctive enough to keep the emotional context within focus. He showed this in abundance on his debut, Dry Bridge Road (Nowt Records, 2008), and he retains all the traits of that outstanding recording on this project as well.
Preminger has pared his group to a quartet, a move that strengthens the intimacy of the music. Ballads are the mainstay of the CD, starting with the glowing standard "Where Or When." His tone is breathy and warm as he inveigles himself into the moment. The gorgeous intonation, marked by perceptive acclamations, makes this an alluring introduction to the music.
The tune takes just over two minutes for Preminger to make a convincing statement, a trait that is extended to his own composition, "K." Once more, he opens textures that drive deep hues into the melody and his expostulation, but bassist John Hébert and drummer Matt Wilson drive the tune with a contrasting rhythmic pulse. The juxtaposition is delightful in its surprise and does not defy logic as it opens up an endearing perspective.
The quartet ups the pulse on "Quickening," with Preminger articulating his journey with well defined ideas. He is no slouch, neither in a hurry, but always ready to flip the trajectory. He does this here with quicksilver interjections that make the tune jump before he cocoons it once again. Pianist Frank Kimbrough, who wrote the tune, is scintillating. He builds the edifice gradually, and then opens up with adroit chord work to clinch the harmonic and melodic drives.
Notch another winner for Preminger as he continues to be challenging and accessible.
Track Listing: Where or When; Quickening; Before the Rain; Abreaction; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; K; Toy Dance; November; Jamie.
Personnel: Noah Preminger: tenor sax; Frank Kimbrough: piano; John Hébert: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.