Noah Preminger - Pivot: Live at the 55 Bar

Noah Preminger ★★★★ Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar / Independent release.
Pivot is an album of just two tunes that stretch 30-plus minutes each. It’s an audacious set up by the serious saxophonist, Noah Preminger, who plays with an intensity that gives this date its unique edge. Recorded live by Jimmy Katz at New York’s 55 Bar, a small, murky basement space in Greenwich Village where jazz thrives and music is always the best thing on the menu, you can sense the tension as the quartet fires up. On the side, Preminger is an amateur boxer (his excellent 2013 recording was titled Haymaker)—on Pivot he comes out swinging with brash, muscular resolve. Playing along side trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass and drummer Ian Froman, his deep tenor growls and sings as if possessed by ghosts of a jazz past—maybe Ornette Coleman, yet more like Coltrane whose Ascension was an album of 30- and 40-minute compositions.Preminger’s gig has an alternate spirituality, specifically the Delta Blues singer, Bukka White (1909-1977), whose discography the saxophonist has devoured.Only 29, Preminger has a sensitive, old-soul quality that infuses his playing with deep feeling. On Pivot, his fourth album, he punches above his weight, with sustained and breathless free-spirited solos. Listening to this album is thrilling—part throwback to the 60s when jazz took free-form improvisation to new frontiers, it’s also remarkably current. Neither Preminger nor his piano-free quartet run out of steam or ideas—they just go.

www.noahpreminger.com (2 tracks; 64 minutes) from ICON.