Noah Preminger: After Life // Jazz Journal Review

Tenor saxophonist and composer Noah Preminger currently lives in Boston. I had the good fortune to come across him a couple of years ago when he was fronting Rob Garcia’s band at Smalls jazz club in New York. His performance was highly impressive, matching his work on Garcia’s albums – Passion Of Color and Finding Love In An Oligarchy On A Dying Planet.


Aside from Garcia, Preminger has also performed or recorded with Joe Lovano, Dave Holland, Fred Hersch, John Patitucci, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, George Cables and Roscoe Mitchell amongst others.

After Life is his 13th album as leader. He’s joined in the project by longtime associate Jason Palmer on trumpet, regular bassist Kim Cass, drum giant Rudy Royston and rising-star guitarist Max Light. Preminger composed seven of the album’s eight songs. The other song is his arrangement of Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu. His intention is that each song reflects a world we may inhabit when we leave Earth.

Highlights of the album include Cass’s lissom bass playing and Royston’s deft percussion in World Of Twelve Faces, the interplay of Light’s jazz-rock guitar and Palmer’s trumpet in World Of Growth, Preminger’s spanning of registers in his soulful sax solo in Senseless World, the raga-like quality of Hovering World, and the intricate sax/trumpet duets in World Of Hunger and Nothing World – the latter being Preminger’s arrangement of Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu. Then there’s the all-hands-on-deck improvisation of World Of Illusion.

This music has spiritual depth with a contemporary edge. There’s the occasional sparse landscape as can often be the case with Preminger’s work but don’t be put off – whilst this may be a sonic contemplation of the afterlife, it’s not gloom jazz. Indeed, it’s uplifting and hauntingly beautiful at times. As if to underpin the paradox, a booklet of amusing poems by Ruth Lepson who was inspired by the music comes with the album.

Linda Chase Ensemble

I am pleased to announce that I recently worked with Linda Chase, and attended one of her classes last week to collaborate with her current NEC ensemble. Linda’s students, graduate and undergrad, collaborate with artists of other kinds. I read some poems & they improved to them and we did a few poetry exercises as well.

For more about Linda:

Poetry Readings at Outpost 186, Fall-Winter

Happy to be invited to read in this Saturday afternoon series, organized by poet and editor Ben Mazer. I will be reading with Fanny Howe in February.

Outpost 186
186 Hampshire St
Inman Square, Cambridge
For more information:

Here is the full schedule:
Sat. September 30, 4-6 pm
Jim Dunn
John Mulrooney

Sat. October 28, 4-6 pm
Ben Mazer
Stephen Sturgeon

Sat. November 11, 4-6 pm
Marc Vincenz
David Blair

Sat. December 2, 4-6 pm
Thomas Graves
Rob Chalfen

Sat. January 6, 4-6 pm
Judson K. Evans
Gale Batchelder

Sat. February 3, 4-6 pm
Ruth Lepson
Fanny Howe

Sat. March 3, 4-6 pm
Philip Nikolayev
John Hennessy


Caterina Davinio Poetry Network

Happy to be a participant in this project:

Dear friends poets and artists,

To celebrate my participation at the Medellín International Poetry Festival 2017, where I am performing for the second time (the first was in the early nineties) as a poet and an electronic poet, I have created the online poetry happening "Medellín Highs Medellín Blues” where poets from all over the world are invited.

Participation in "Medellín Highs Medellín Blues" is free; young poets and artists are encouraged. The theme is free, but texts on the topic of peace and friendship among the peoples are welcome.

You are invited to post your poem (max 30 lines) or enter a picture or video (please, send a YouTube link) in the comments of this post.

If you want to share, THIS IS THE LINK:

If you find problems in posting or you want to stay in my mailing list, to stay tuned about the development of this project, or you just want to contact me privately, please write to:

Everyone is welcome!


Caterina Davinio  

Launch for spoKe Magazine - Grolier Poetry Bookshop

Launch for spoKe Magazine Hosted by Kevin Gallagher Readers Ruth Lepson Sue Standing Alison Vanose Marc Vincenz The Grolier Poetry Book Shop ("the Grolier") is an independent bookstore on Plympton Street near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Although founded as a "first edition" bookstore, its focus today is solely poetry.

Ruth Lepson to Dispatches, 6 June 2016

As published on:

A Poetry Innocent: What Comes to Mind

Which is not to say that I don't have strong feelings about the necessary relation between poetry and sound. Without it, poetry is to me faded old drapery. With it, there is the movement of molecules that pervade the world.

Having no idea until recently about the Olson disputes I am inclined (like someone reclining after a seder) to say here I am in the middle, which seems to be a kind of muddle but to my mind isn't. There is room for discussion of Olson and gender without being dismissive of his work. It takes nothing away from the poetry though it may modify it in our minds.

Bill Berkson recently sent me Merleau Ponty's essay on Cezanne. There it's all spelled out, systematically. The knowledge that who we are born and what our early life is limit us profoundly but that the choices we make in our art are what free us. The two are inseparable--and how could they not be, given that every choice we make comes from our sensibility--how could it be otherwise? Yet given that sensibility one could move in a number of directions and therein lies a certain amount of freedom and even an earth-shattering way of knowing the world that can be conveyed to some extent to others.
Namby pamby? I don't believe so. Just inclusive.

It's vital to fight about that which we believe in the arts--that is of course how they progress. To me the Black Mountain poets moved poetry along, a train that was chugging slowly till wham WCW gave it some steam and others such as Olson, Creeley, Levertov, Duncan, also The Objectivists said let's go for a fast ride, and so we did. Or to put it another way we slowed down and looked around.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis' measured writing has always added to my understanding of Olson and Creeley and others. That's all.

Can someone be a Zen master and still be limited by the consciousness of the age? A question I often asked myself when young. The answer, I now take for granted, is that a person can go beyond ordinary life into we know not what and yet in one's daily life hold certain beliefs which may be infuriating to others.

Tangentially related: I have heard that in India some prisoners, even murderers, who renounce their deeds may be freed in order to become Buddhist monks who beg for a living. Couldn't Dostoyevsky have made something of that! Would you be profoundly changed if society treated you profoundly differently or would you just continue if you were say a sociopath, on your (excuse me) social path as before, fooling people?

There are no complete answers to these questions. Poetry is questions without final answers. Poetry to me is an integral from Creeley to Rich, but these two poets aren't mutually exclusive since both have a superb sense of sound and are visionaries, each in her/his way.

Fielding Dawson Portrait of Cy Twombly: Poem — Ruth Lepson

I recently read this poem at the ICA Black Mountain College exhibit.

As published on:

Fielding Dawson Portrait of Cy Twombly

your chair looks kinda wobbly
cy twombly

I think you’re an anomaly

you’re practically
sliding off the chair
the window’s
broken by lines in a grid
it’s time to stand–
but sit for another minute
give us your specifics
wait — you don’t care
what you get across
or to whom

large, your hands
rest beside each other whitely,
parallel like piano keys

your shirt’s white
the window behind you is kinda’
sketchy in 1951

yet precise
a small face
full of interest
and grungy

a black button
on a worn blue jacket

you might jump up
and draw squiggles
your body’s both curvy and angular

a bit of white sock
usual blue pants
a blue jacketbits of
brown butcher paper
showing through

your collar’s upturned and
your hair’s a bit of tweedledee and tweedledum

the wood floor is what you were
born for

guess that’s a watch on your left wrist
your shoelaces and the
stripes of your collar–
you were about
little things like that
employing house paint
colored pencil and string
among other things

your acrylics are bright
what did you do at night I wonder
you give us just a smidgen of
what’s in that head of yours

fielding dawson
lifelong socialist
socialized with you
no separation between
the art and the doing
the art and the life

remaining unnoticed you were happy

you broke things down to
build them up again
cy means baby in greek
master in english
which is what you speak

the british family twombly
had a coat of arms which
you may have found alarming

a hands-on man
plain so you could
put it all in the work

triangles all around–
your face
your collar
your crotch
your right leg forming an
acute angle with the chair

things one might not notice
at first–your sagging belt
the pocket on your jacket

legs apart
feet turned slightly outward the way
a man’s supposed to sit

eyes closed or just looking down

the lines of the floor drive the painting forward
as if thrusting you towards us
colorful cartoony one

your shoes shaped and colored violins

bits of purple and green
far away barely seen
make the blue less flat
the painting works against the
flat canvas though it’s semi-abstract

it’s an impression and makes an impression
of cy twombly

will you have coffee with me?
no? you want to get back to your studio…
stand up, walk away, the day awaits

dawson chose the colors of nature for you
you’re off in your head to
a greek isle
a sumerian temple
a grouping of flowers

part of progressive art, you said,
is the complete expression of one’s personality–
you drew in the dark to develop your line
a wobbly line     a kid’s kind of line

I saw you as a baseball player before I knew
your father named you after
cy young
and was
a chicago cubs pitcher

you married a baroness and called your son cy
grew up in virginia     hopped over to rome
in between relocated twice a year
your sculptures as talismans to
guard you on your way

edwin parker cy twombly jrhey
you influenced basquiat, kiefer, clemente and schnabel–
very cool–
keats and mallarmé appear in your work
rilke and virgil as well
space in your huge canvasses
for them all

influenced by giotto
you painted a blue sky
on a ceiling in the louvre
with sun and planets perhaps
painted over with names of greek sculptors

dawson painted you with
2/3 blue wall behind you
1/3 yellow floor
it’s right proportionately

for your blackboard paintings you
‘sat on the shoulders of a friend who shuttled back and forth
along the length of the canvas, thus allowing the artist to create his fluid continuous lines’

work as a cryptographer for the army influenced what–
your scripts andpictography?
amazingly, charles olson worked in washington, too

cambodian-french artist rindy sam was arrested after kissing one
panel of your triptych phaedrus, which she smudged with red lipstick.
at her trial she defended her gesture:
‘J’ai fait juste un bisou. C’est un geste d’amour, quand je l’ai
embrasse, je n’ai pas reflechi….’
‘It was just a kiss, a loving gesture, I kissed it without thinking; I
thought the artist would understand….It was an artistic act provoked
by the power of Art.’
‘[ms] sam was fined and compelled to take a citizenship class.’

a frenchwoman stripped in front of your
orpheus’ trip to the underworld
saying, that painting makes me want to run naked.
you were delighted, who else? you asked,
could have that effect? I might add,
especially in houston, texas.

The Brooklyn Rail / Four

As published by The Brooklyn Rail:

Ruth Lepson has been the poet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music for 20 years. Her new book is ask anyone, from Pressed Wafer, with musical setting available (soon) on the PW website. She's been collaborating with musicians for some years now and will be making an album this spring with Noah Preminger, Frank Carlberg, and Simon Willson.

I was exaggerating my plight (Poem of the Day)

I was exaggerating my plight.
Once I was betrothed.
In the bee-loud glade.
Once I blew glass.
Once I fasted.
Once I lived in the past.
You are talking about me but
not in the way I imagined.

The poet's a magician/musician/sometime mathematician.
I've been trying to get to you.
Howling till I drop
till the last
drops fall from my thin skin.
Hangin' around like some pigeon.

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. (2 tracks; 64 minutes) from ICON.