Noah Preminger: Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar

Mark Corroto By

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With few exceptions, there has always been a disconnect between live performance and recorded jazz. They are almost two worlds divorced from each other. Sure, listening to an LP of Sonny Rollins or Bill Evans captured at the Village Vanguard has a historic aura about it, but capturing that moment in time is nearly unachievable. Nothing can compare to sitting (or standing, drink in hand) in a club to witness, not only the sounds, but the physical aspects of performance. Thanks to engineer Jimmy Katz, saxophonist Noah Preminger's live disc Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar reserves a spot for your ears in the front row.

Preminger has garnered critical acclaim with his three previous titles as a leader, the last being Haymaker (Palmetto, 2013) and his collaboration in Rob Garcia's quartet. With Pivot, you get the feeling he has shed all the "helpful advice" given to him by record label executives and producers. His quartet of trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass and drummer Ian Froman draw inspiration from Ornette Coleman's late-1950s quartet with Don Cherry, but maybe more so from John Coltrane's perpetual examination of the blues.

Preminger chooses two songs "Parchman Farm Blues" and "Fixin' To Die Blues" by Bukka White as his starting point for this live date. Also known as Booker T. White, his music has been covered by Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin. As with John Coltrane's jazz, everything eventually comes back to the blues. And like Coltrane's music, Preminger exhausts every permutation and possibility of Washington's composition with both tracks here clocking in at 30+ minutes. Both tracks are brainstorming sessions that never lag. Credit the "in your face" mix, engineered here to give listeners the live experience. The pulse of Cass' bass hits you square in the chest and Froman's drumming carries that Elvin Jones heavyweight pulse. Preminger and Palmer participate in an almost constant conversation together and in their ever expanding improvisation. Preminger's command of the music is impressive, with a continual and unfading reworking of the blues. To make the listening experience complete, the disc should have come with a small vial of sweat that came off the bandstand. Just sayin.'

Track Listing: Parchman Farm Blues; Fixin to Die Blues.

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

Title: Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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