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Jazz

Noah Preminger: Preminger Plays Preminger

Preminger Plays Preminger
Noah Preminger: Preminger Plays Preminger
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Eight films—seven directed by Otto Preminger, one featuring him as an actor—inspired this splendid recording, the first of six vinyl-only releases in Newvelle Records’ 2019 subscription series. Some of the movies enlisted the services of musical giants: Duke Ellington scored Anatomy of a Murder, and David Raskin’s theme for Laura is legendary. But tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger was not intimidated when he brought pianist Jason Moran, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Marcus Gilmore together to interpret music from Otto Preminger’s films and perform compositions Noah composed “for” other films. Preminger’s not-quite-Third Stream approach—tending toward abstraction and contemplative impressionism but unafraid of sharp angles and energetic outbursts—was likely influenced by Ran Blake, with whom Preminger closely worked. Dark rumbles and bittersweet melodies portend brooding mystery and unstable romance. Passages of assertive post-bop blowing allow Moran and Preminger to take things “out” while sustaining beckoning harmonies and lush tones. Fine sonic details across an expansive soundstage enhance the cinematic effect, and Newvelle’s commissioned cover paintings, plus a short story delivered in six chapters, give the packaging a panache the absorbing music deserves. 

By Derk Richardson

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