Friday, March 03, 2017

Noah Preminger - Meditations on Freedom (Self Released, 2017)

Saxophonist Noah Preminger has issued several interesting albums that have explored jazz and blues, but for this effort he was inspired by the contentious American political climate, and has crafted an album of consciousness raising music. Accompanying him are Jason Palmer trumpet, Kim Cass on bass and Ian Froman on drums. "Just the Way It Is" has a gentle and memorable melody, and open space for saxophone, bass drums to improvise, becoming faster yet unhurried. The pace is gradually increased with stronger drumming and responding saxophone. Preminger's relatively light tone keeps his playing agile and nimble, and this is followed by some deft bass playing and trumpet statements. This configuration develops its own fine improvised section, playing with powerful stamina. The full group gives space for a attractive drum solo, and returns to the original melody to conclude the song. There is an understated feel to "We Have a Dream" with a deft and punchy trumpet solo breaking out over subtle bass and percussion. The baton is passed to the leader who crafts a fine and unhurried solo statement of his own, gently probing and exploring the terrain. "Women's March" has a more urgent melody, seemingly a call to arms and an alarm sound urging action. There is a quietly urgent improvised section for saxophone, bass and drums, and their interplay is quite impressive. The trumpet rejoins and then begins a lead statement of his own, improvising with quietly insistent bass and drums in accompaniment. Everyone returns for an improvised view of the original melodic statement and the conclusion. Solid percussion and a thoughtful melody open "Give Me Love" with some interesting interplay between the saxophone and trumpet. Their music is polished but not slick, and no one rushes to claim dominance over it. The horns are bright and open while the bass and drums engages them with an ever shifting sense of rhythm. This is inquisitive music that asks serious questions about the nature of liberty and social justice. Just because it doesn't have lyrics doesn't mean that it is not powerful protest music. Mediations on Freedom - noahpreminger.com

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