Twenty-year old saxophonist Noah Preminger keeps good company on his debut session date as a leader. Not often does an artist so young, snag the attention of such a laudable supporting cast of modern jazz musicians. Well, the proof lies within the scope of this adventurous project, as the saxophonist pronounces an abundance of interesting harmonic concepts and drifting melody lines. And a large component of Preminger’s body of work features knotty time navigations, unanticipated pauses, u-turns and variable undercurrents. As a tenor saxophonist, he possesses a broad sound, rounded out by an edgy vibe and a rather animated phraseology.
On select tracks, guitarist Ben Monder’s cool, medium-toned lines serve as a radiant contrast to the saxophonist’s impassioned choruses. In effect, the overall musical course might be akin to traversing gently rolling hills amid several unforeseen detours. For example, trumpeter Russ Johnson’s seemingly intentional, sour notes impart a sense of uncertainty atop Ted Poor’s blitzing drum work on "A Dream." Yet the saxophonist subsequently picks up the pace and the band merges zestful improv with a steamy, free-bop motif while circling back to the primary theme.
Pianist Frank Kimbrough helps lower the temperature of this sinuously moving album with the ballad "Where Seagull’s Fly." Regardless of pitch, and tempo, Preminger stands as a vivid storyteller while sustaining a distinct sound and mode of execution. His mood-evoking works come at you from numerable angles. To that end, he finalizes the program with a hard-hitting jazz-rock piece titled "Rhythm for Robert." And it signifies yet another crafty original by the saxophonist, where Monder puts the pedal to the metal amid the band’s soaring movements - all nicely contrasted by Preminger and Johnson’s complex unison runs. No doubt this young lad has made a dubious entry onto the modern jazz radar with this scintillating and altogether, persuasive 2008 release.