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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Haymaker

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Tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger is one of those guys who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, fully-formed, with total command of his instrument--including an admirably rich tone--and lots of great ideas, both compositional and improvisational. Well, that's not totally correct. He did study for years with saxophone great Dave Liebman, and graduated from the New England Conservatory. So he's not exactly from nowhere. But a great education isn't everything, as thousands of folks with great educations will tell you. Interestingly, if Preminger resembles any one saxophonist, it's not Dave Liebman or even his teacher's hero, John Coltrane; it's Joe Lovano. Like ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Haymaker

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Tenor saxophone phenomenon Noah Preminger's third release as a leader Haymaker is a uniformly engaging album with a strong poetic sense. The ten uncluttered compositions serve primarily as vehicles for Preminger's intelligent expressions of creative spontaneity as well as those of his highly sympathetic band-mates.On the title track Preminger's melodic and angular monologue evolves like free verse with intriguing flexibility of cadence while maintaining a mellifluous lilt. Together with guitarist Ben Monder's sparse and chiming notes and drummer Colin Stranahan's rumbling beats he builds an atmospheric, three way conversation that is nevertheless intellectually stimulating.This balance of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Haymaker

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Although saxophonist Noah Preminger titled his disc Haymaker, a term denoting a wildly unorthodox punch thrown by a boxer, his third release as a leader (second for Palmetto) is anything but undisciplined. Following Before The Rain (Palmetto, 2011), he reorganizes his quartet and reunites with guitarist Ben Monder from debut sextet session Dry Bridge Road (Nowt Records, 2008). The pair share an affinity for disciplined music making and the gifts of musical sprezzatura and a pure tone.Their music fits hand-in-glove throughout. The composition “Rhonda's Suite" could be mistaken for another saxophone/guitar pairing, that of Joe Lovano and Bill ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Noah Preminger Quartet, Boston, February 23

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Noah PremingerScullers Jazz ClubBoston, Mass.February 23, 2011 To judge by his sophomore effort, Before the Rain (Palmetto, 2011), tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger's singular forte is the reinvention of the ballad. He does it so well, and so nearly exclusively, that it came as a pleasant surprise, during his performance at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Mass., that there is so much more to him than that (not least his power to surprise), and that he can do so much more, which, essentially, comes down to anything to which he sets his mind. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Before The Rain

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Before The Rain

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How do you follow up one of the finest debut jazz albums of the new millennium? For saxophonist Noah Preminger, you pair down the sextet heard on Dry Bridge Road (Nowt Records, 2008) and display more of your own sound.The twenty-something saxophonist returns with bassist John Hébert and pianist Frank Kimbrough on his Palmetto Records debut, Before The Rain (maybe a play on John Coltrane's “After The Rain"), along with everyone's favorite drummer, Matt Wilson. The quartet gambles the entire session here, playing mostly patient ballad, but with such strong players the risk pays off, with a rich ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Dry Bridge Road

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Readers and theatre-goers probably found Anton Chekhov disquieting when they first encountered his work at the turn of the twentieth century. Here was a guy who used nineteenth-century materials--the bourgeois drawing room, issues of social class, well-behaved prose--to depict what would become emblematic twentieth-century themes: psychology, anomie, the little heart breaks of daily life.Wunderkind Noah Preminger's will provide a similar kind of temporal displacement for listeners. Just as with Chekhov, there is a tension between the musical materials--a delightful group sound that would not be out of place in recordings from decades past--and the austere rigor of the ...



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