All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Dead Composers Club: The Chopin Project

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
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 live to see the invention of the saxophone, much less the electric guitar, it's easy to imagine this eloquent homage would have earned the composer's happy approval.

It's a beautiful affair, centered around Chopin's preludes and nocturnes, that's always faithful to the spirit of the pieces without ever feeling like a straightforward recital. The arrangements (evenly split between the leaders) show a sense of playful fun in assigning melody parts among some instruments while leaving others free to stretch. Nate Radley spins soothing guitar strains to explore the light and shade alongside Preminger's subtle and expressive sax leads. Kim Cass backs them up with frenetic sprinting double-bass lines, easygoing counterpoint or anything in between, whatever a given moment might call for.

While the piano-less instrumentation makes a striking change from many interpretations out there, it's the players' classy performance and subtle chemistry that matter most. The adjacent early-set pair of "Nocturne Op9 Nº2 in Eb major" and "Prelude Op28 Nº4 in D minor" particularly sound like lightly swinging club-jazz songs more than Romantic-era piano pieces. The later tracks in the set tend to feel closer to the compositions' original forms as written, though not without a few more fresh licks, solos and even a touch of blues to stretch the form of the songbook.

When not soloing, Preminger continually demonstrates skill at imbuing simple lines with emotional heart. For his part, Garcia's spot at the drum stool naturally gives him the most free space of all—probably an inevitability with music written for solo piano—and he takes full advantage of the opportunity with a range of frisky clatters and splashes to playfully drive the others along. However technically demanding the material gets, the band almost defies that precision with a sound as loose and natural as an affable chat. Where so much classical music lends itself to classy halls or museums, The Chopin Project feels as comfortable as your own living room and fresh as if it was all written just last week.

Track Listing: Nocturne Op27 Nº1 in C# minor; Prelude Op28 Nº2 in A minor; Nocturne Op9 Nº2 in Eb major; Prelude Op28 Nº24 in D minor; Etude Op25 Nº7 in C3 minor; Prelude Op28 Nº8 in F# minor; Nocturne Op62 Nº2 in E major; Nocturne Op32 Nº2 in Ab major; Prelude Op28 Nº6 in B minor; Prelude Op28 Nº9 in E major.

Personnel: Noah Preminger: tenor saxophone; Nate Radley: guitar; Kim Cass: bass; Rob Garcia: drums.

Title: The Chopin Project | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Connection Works Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Nocturne Op. 27 No. 1 in C# minor

Nocturne Op. 27 No. 1 in C# minor

Noah Preminger
The Chopin Project

Halfway to Hartford

Halfway to Hartford

Noah Preminger
Genuinity

The 99 Percent

The 99 Percent

Noah Preminger
Meditations on Freedom

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Genuinity

Genuinity

Criss Cross
2018

buy
The Chopin Project

The Chopin Project

Connection Works Records
2018

buy
Whispers And Cries

Whispers And Cries

Red Piano Records
2018

buy
Meditations on Freedom

Meditations on Freedom

Self Produced
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Yequm" CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Blue Fantasia" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Fantasia
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Say It" CD/LP/Track Review Say It
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "The Diary Of Robert Reverie" CD/LP/Track Review The Diary Of Robert Reverie
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 1, 2018
Read "Departures" CD/LP/Track Review Departures
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Seymour Reads The Constitution!" CD/LP/Track Review Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018