Noah Preminger Quartet
Thursday, October 11th, 8 p.m.| The Sanctuary, Arcata
"Preminger’s extended improvisations recall the muscular angularity of Sonny Rollins, the lush lyricism of Warne Marsh, and the indomitable spirit of Bukka White,
in a rapturous style wholly his own."
—Jim Macnie, Village Voice
It was a magical night back in 2010 when pianist Frank Kimbrough played the Morris Graves with a young Noah Preminger. The saxophonist has long since struck out on his own, propelled by a warm, dark, and occasionally gritty tone, a restlessly probing musical mind, and, lately, a touch of political fire. Recent albums have found Preminger (whom All About Jazz seats “at the table with today’s blue-chip tenor players”) exploring country blues, protest songs, and Chopin nocturnes & preludes, in addition to his own original compositions.
Preminger is a risk-taker, with or without his horn. (“The line on Noah Preminger,” says one commentator, “is that he's a bad ass.”) “Taking risks in life helps you take risks in art,” he contends. His enthusiasm for challenging and often dangerous and sports—boxing, skiing, skydiving—also informs his approach to musical play, where he may strike hard and fast but never without strategic purpose. “For all these things I do, and especially music, it’s all about how deep you can get into it—that’s always the challenge and the attraction.”
The quest for depth began early on. “I would practice eight hours a day as a young teenager. I was possessed.” But studying with saxophone master Dave Liebman, the lessons went beyond musical theory and technique to include the tangible, hard-hitting “reality of being a musician—the politics, the economics, how to present yourself and take care of business. It stayed with me.”
Preminger’s debut album as a leader, recorded when he was only twenty years old, garnered rave reviews. In the decade since, he’s recorded eleven more discs, been named DownBeat magazine’s #1 Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist, earned a composition fellowship at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists Studio, and played alongside the likes of Billy Hart, Dave Holland, Fred Hersch, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Victor Lewis, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Roscoe Mitchell, and Dr. Eddie Henderson. Recent albums include Meditations On Freedom, a political protest released on Inauguration Day 2017; The Chopin Project, the inaugural outing of the Dead Composers Club (with co-leader Rob Garcia); and Genuinity, the latest recording from his pianoless quartet.
As for the other members of that quartet: We’re still in a trance from trumpeter Jason Palmer’s recent appearance with flautist Jamie Baum. One of the most in-demand sidemen of his generation, he’s gotten the call from Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, and Ravi Coltrane, among others. New York bassist Kim Cass, also a member of pianist Matt Mitchell’s band, has released a wonder of a self-titled solo record that speaks its own unclassifiable polyrhythmic language. Drummer Dan Weiss, a repeat RJA visitor last here with Rudresh Mahanthappa, is himself no stranger to complex polyrhythms. An innovative, award-winning composer, bandleader, and virtuoso drummer and tabla player, he was named one of today’s top 5 jazz drummers by the New York Times.
Tickets ($15 General Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here at our website and (soon!) at People's Records, Wildwood Music, Wildberries, and The Works.
Noah Preminger will also present an open, pre-concert public workshop at 1:00 p.m. on the afternoon of October 13th in Music 131 (across the walkway from the entrance to Fulkerson Recital Hall). People of all levels of experience are welcome to attend, and admission is FREE.
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