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RADIO

Russ Johnson, Christian McBride and Noah Preminger

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Excellent recent albums from Russ Johnson and Christian McBride together with a focus on Noah Preminger lead a packed show with a mix a brand new releases and music from the archives. Playlist Russ Johnson, Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery, Jon Deitemyer “Serpent Kane" from Headlands (Woolgathering Records) 00:00 Christian McBride “Walkin' Funny" from Christian McBride's New Jawn (Mack Avenue Records) 06:59 Bob Gluck “Spirit Unleashed" from Infinite Spirit Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band (FMR Records) 10:38 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dead Composers Club: The Chopin Project

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Saxophonist Noah Preminger has a reputation for exploring various genres outside jazz, like protest music and old-time delta blues. He has now formed a group called Dead Composers Club, with drummer Rob Garcia, to perform the works of various composers who are no longer with us. With Preminger's track record that could mean anybody from Duke Ellington to Leonard Cohen, but on this first effort they turn to classical composer Frederic Chopin. Playing Chopin seems to bring out ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dead Composers Club: The Chopin Project

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We have a pretty clear case of truth in advertising here; this top-notch recording offers exactly what it says on the tin. With the first installment of their Dead Composers Club project, Noah Preminger and Rob Garcia pay affectionate respect to a well-known oeuvre while still keeping it a long way from predictable. Fittingly enough for a jazz combo, the focus here is on Frédéric Chopin--an outspoken yet gentle soul who placed a key emphasis on improvisation. Though he didn't ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Genuinity

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Quite often when an über-talented musician records a disc under his own name, he uses sidemen of lesser talent so as not to detract from his moment in the limelight, or because his ego won't allow him to play nice. That has never been the case with saxophonist Noah Preminger. On Genuinity, his tenth disc released as a leader, Preminger employs partners of equal weight. Listening to the saxophonist and trumpeter Jason Palmer reminds you of the Sonny Rollins/Don Cherry ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger-Frank Carlberg: Whispers And Cries

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A duo doing standards doesn't theoretically smack of originality in 2018, yet a number of present tense saxophone-piano pairings have demonstrated otherwise. Last fall, soprano maverick Sam Newsome and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc went down the rabbit hole with a good number of classics for Magic Circle (Self Produced, 2017)); around the same time, saxophone icon Dave Liebman and piano elder statesman Martial Solal presented a half-dozen gems given over to exploration during Masters In Bordeaux (Sunnyside, 2017); and now, rising ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom

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Released to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, the message of Saxophonist Noah Preminger's Meditations on Freedom is as direct as the music is powerful. Conceived immediately after Election Day 2016 and recorded shortly thereafter without cuts or edits, the music is a testament to both Preminger's artistic prowess and deep commitment to political engagement.The album's nine offerings present a series of potent statements on social justice, the struggle for equity, and a stark repudiation ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom

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Open and civil discourse has always been a tenant of democracy. Recent political events in the U.S. have reduced that discourse to a crude, gutter-level low that has left an alienated population in its wake, marginalized and left without a strong voice. From the time of the Civil War, protest music has provided counsel for vulnerable segments of society. With Meditations on Freedom saxophonist Noah Preminger adds his voice to the ranks of Billie Holiday's “Strange Fruit" (Commodore, 1939), Charles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Some Other Time

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After several releases, tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger's uniqueness has become more evident. In large part, this curve is due to Preminger's own patient development of a creative process; part is an individual style but much of the appeal is in how he creates around the broader dynamics of his various groups. What has been consistent, from the modern post-bop/hard-bop of Dry Bridge Road (Nowt Records, 2008) through the raucous swing of Pivot: Live at the 55 Bar (Self-Produced, 2015), is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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Saxophonist Noah Preminger got this backwards. His latest release, Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground should have preceded the 2015 recording Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar. Same quartet of trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Ian Froman. Same theme, the Delta Blues. The reverse order observation is a historical one. Where John Coltrane would record an album of shortish compositions, then take them to the Village Vanguard to expand them to album length tracks, Preminger ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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The Delta Blues, spawned from the callous conditions on Mississippi plantations and farmlands, is an artistic manifestation that creativity can overcome, survive, and thrive, amidst overwhelming situations. These sparse, rural blues, which came out of the fields so long ago, continue to influence contemporary musicians seeking a raw form of expression. Count saxophonist Noah Preminger among those who have gone back to these roots, his Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground, is a re-invigoration process based on primordial ...