The consequences of investigating a debut recording are often unknown. In the case of saxophonist Noah Preminger the result is, quite simply, positive. He is a player who invests much thought into his playing. He is rich in churning dense, atmospheric forms with an occasional composition having a lighter ambience. Whatever the stance, the underlying appeal is constant.
Preminger's writing revolves around different styles. He often picks up a new angle, with dexterity, within a composition. It's a sleight of invention that fascinates and draws the listener even closer to the music. "Rhythm for Robert" tells this story particularly well. Preminger is warm and balladic with John Hebert (bass) playing arco. The music then springs into a livelier beat with Preminger and Russ Johnson (trumpet) engaging in dialogue before Johnson takes off. His line is swift and just a bit ragged, which gives his progression grit and brawn. Then comes the swerve into freer dynamics with Ben Monder (guitar) leading the charge for the band.
"Where Seagulls Fly" is a lyrical statement. Preminger wafts into the appealing melody, phrasing it with breath delicacy. He lingers over a note, touching its depths to raise the emotional stakes. Frank Kimbrough grabs the pulse and goes on to open a vista of beautifully modulated ideas. His working of the melody without straying far from the core is a work of art. When Preminger returns to filter the soul of the melody, the lure is complete.
"Sax of a Kind" is a bop work out. Preminger is right at home scooting rapid phrases. Monder is again the ally with Ted Poor adding sprightly rhythms on the drums. It's another triumph for the band.
Preminger is one to watch. He has the promise of great things to come.
Track Listing: Luke; A Dream; Today Is Okay; Blues for Steve Lacy; Sax of a Kind; Where Seagulls Fly; Was It a Rat I Saw?; Real Nice; Rhythm for Robert.
Personnel: Noah Preminger: tenor saxophone; Russ Johnson: trumpet; Ben Monder: guitar; Frank Kimbrough: piano; John Hebert: bass; Ted Poor: drums.