Friday, May 17, 2013
Noah Preminger "Haymaker"
"Haymaker" moves the group a bit off center with a less melodic, more impressionistic opening line from Preminger, which is followed by sections that are more like a tone poem. Once again Preminger displays great control over his instrument as it ranges across the registers and as his emotions range as well between mellow and energetic. Not a song that is hummable but one that is captivating for lovers of modern mainstream jazz.
Skipping ahead, "Tomorrow" is a revelation. Played slowly, the beauty of the melody really shines through. The song has a chance to breathe, as it starts with a solo from Preminger that contains only hints of the melody at first and then slowly coalesces as the rest of the band joins in. It is quite restrained and lovely, this pace allows the group to really bring out the beauty of the tune and longing in the lyrics. Monder plays a lovely little counter melody behind the round clean sound of the tenor.
And so it continues, a nicely paced set that displays the skills of each player. Monder and Preminger play a lovely duet to open "15,000", another mellow and mid tempo original tune and my favorite of the set. After the opening, the piece has some of the most beautiful and soulful play of the set. Both players have outstanding solos that caress the song, and the bass and drum support is capable and restrained in providing the extra punch until the drum gets a solo toward the end of the piece, and even that solo is moderated to fit. "Stir My Soul" follows in the same vein with a quiet, mid-tempo melody played by Preminger with the support of the others. A bass lead for Stranahan, backed by Monder, is a nice little tour de force for the bassist.
When the CD ends with the short "Motif Attractif", which is an absolutely gorgeous little tune played very slowly and quietly with great feeling, one realizes that Preminger has barely scratched the surface of his talents as a player and composer. With this CD he should be stepping into the spotlight, and deservedly so.