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Noah Preminger Group: Zigsaw: Music Of Steve Lampert

Dan McClenaghan By

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With Zigsaw: The Music of Steve Lampert, saxophonist Noah Preminger presents his most ambitious album to date. Trumpeter-composer Lampert writes cerebral, avant-garde compositions. Preminger, rather than diving into a collection of Lampert tunes, takes on a single forty-nine minute magnum opus piece that zigzags back and forth between structure and openness, with an all-star septet that creates a sometimes brash, sometimes dreamy and rambling sound.

Describing this sound: a sonic jigsaw stew comprised of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia Records, 1970), mixed with a searing Tim Berne-ian saxophone intensity and some Ornette Coleman freedom, with a taste of 1960s psychedelia—Brian Wilson's "Good Vibrations" comes to mind in certain subsections—with a seasoning of the clavinet-with-a-wah-wah-pedal jaw harp sound of The Band's "Up On Cripple Creek." Otherworldly atmospherics slotted in with wailing jazz.

Preminger is joined by alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher and trumpeter Jason Palmer who both blow hot. Preminger is cooler, his tenor sax sometimes sounding like a bass clarinet. Palmer sounds the most straight-ahead of the horn men—the sanest guy in the asylum, barely.

Even though the forty-nine minutes of music play continuously, the composition is divided into twelve sections, and each of these is subdivided into four subsections. Good luck identifying these segmentations; though the shifts in mood and texture are there, in a slippery way—a cool bouncing groove gives way to a jagged, in-your-face sax segment at thirty one minutes, with a relentless sparkle from Kris Davis' piano glistening into the mix.

Then there are the oddities: the occasional twinkles like a summons from a cell phone; the sound of a woman's voice proclaiming something just under a volume that would allow the comprehension of her brief message. A good deal of the Zigsaw mixture of unusual sonics comes from the wizardry of Rob Schwimmer's work with the clavinet and the haken continuum—an electronic music controller and synthesizer that is ..."limited only by your own musical imaginations." Schwimmer, apparently, suffers from very few imaginative limitations.

Zigsaw: Music Of Steve Lampert is a sprawling, unsettled weather system of sound. Compelling and futuristic.

Track Listing: Zigsaw.

Personnel: Noah Preminger: tenor saxophone; Jason Palmer: trumpet; John O'Gallagher: alto saxophone; Kris Davis: piano; Rob Schwimmer: haken continuum/clavinet; Kim Cass: bass; Rudy Royston: drums.

Title: Zigsaw: Music Of Steve Lampert | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Self Produced

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