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Noah Preminger: Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground

Alberto Bazzurro By

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A un anno scarso dal precedente Pivot: Live at the 55 Bar, il trentenne tenorsassofonista newyorchese Noah Preminger torna sul luogo del delitto. Che non è la sede dell'incisione (questo, anzi, è un album in studio, benché inciso in un jazz club, il Side Door, in Connecticut), quanto il repertorio, anche stavolta estratto dalla grande letteratura blues, quella più ruspante e terragna, roba anni Venti e Trenta, tranne "Future Blues," che nel 1970 chiudeva l'omonimo album dei Canned Heat.

La differenza principale sta nell'impaginazione: là due soli, chilometrici brani (entrambi di Bukka White, presente anche qui con "I Am the Heavenly Way," mentre le altre firme sono quelle di Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Richard M. Jones, Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson e Mississippi John Hurt), qui nove episodi circospetti, sul piano degli arrangiamenti, studiati, predisposti, si direbbe, in ogni dettaglio.

La voce unitaria del quartetto, in possesso di una sua precisa identità, scura e pensosa, a tratti quasi liturgica, deroga piuttosto di rado da sé, per qualche assolo, che ovviamente non manca, ma sempre quanto mai funzionale, quasi imbrigliato, nel totale. Il disco possiede così una temperatura e un fascino tutti suoi, brunito, coeso, sferico, quasi inattaccabile. Il linguaggio è coerente col grande ceppo che percorre la strada maestra del jazz, ma—come detto—con un'identità netta, incontestabile.

Pregi ed eventuali limiti dell'eccesso di coerenza e—se vogliamo—monoliticità, possiamo dire, ma a bocce ferme propenderemmo senz'altro per i primi rispetto ai secondi: minore immediatezza e sana foga improvvisativa, magari, rispetto al live di cui dicevamo, per un'opera più di cesello (plastico, ma di cesello, come trattamento), di struttura, di amalgama eretto a categoria estetica. Da ascoltare con attenzione, per certi versi quasi religiosamente.

Track Listing: Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground; Hard Times Killin’ Floor Blues; Trouble In Mind; I Am The Heavenly Way; Future blues; Spoonful Blues; Black Snake Moan; Love In Vain; I Shall Not Be Moved.

Personnel: Noah Preminger: saxophone; Jason Palmer: trumpet; Kim Cass: bass; Ian Froman: drums.

Title: Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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