Tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger
has dedicated considerable effort into his imprint on jazz variations of the delta blues with Some Other Time
(Newvelle, 2016), Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar
(Self-Produced, 2016) and Meditations on Freedom
(Self-Produced, 2017). Zigsaw: Music of Steve Lampert
is a departure in concept and content with a single extended track composed by Steve Lampert
. With this album, Preminger hits a new peak with the fourteenth album in his prolific career.
Steve Lampert is a trumpeter with five leader recordings and he often composes outside of the tonal system with variations of pitch, and rhythm. Zahskl's Jukebox Volume 1
(Self-Produced, 2015) and it's 2016 sequel, featured Preminger. "Zigsaw"the sole track on the albumis a near fifty-minute composition that Lampert wrote specifically for Preminger and the group of musicians featured on the album. These top-tier improvisers are frequent collaborator Jason Palmer
on trumpet, alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher, pianist Kris Davis
, Rob Schwimmer
on Haken continuum (a keyless fingerboard synthesizer), and clavinet, bassist Kim Cass
and drummer Rudy Royston
. With the exception of Schwimmer, all have worked with Preminger in the past.
On its surface, Zigsaw
seems to be a different route for Preminger but historically, his scope has been broad, bar the electronic component that figures so prominently on this album. Here, the electronic track was pre-recorded and the group worked around that in the studio. While a single composition, "Zigsaw" has clear divisions. The electronics lend a dreamlike character; some dissections swing, others feature propulsive rhythm-driven improvisations for group or individuals but all are guided by loosely restated idioms. Zigsaw
is spellbinding with its labyrinthine quality. The music builds, breaks down and reforms with different musical elements leading and expressing some variation of the themes. It is powerful and melodic avant-garde music rendered by an incomparable ensemble and it is Preminger's best to date.
Rob Schwimmer: haken continuum, clavinet.