Sep 25, 2013
Noah Preminger was just a teenager when word of his saxophone skills was making the rounds in Southern New England. Then he was another in a line of wunderkind musicians from the West Hartford, Connecticut Hall High School Jazz Band, alumni of which include Brad Mehldau, Richie Barshay and Joel Frahm.
Now Preminger is an experienced player, bandleader, and songwriter, and he has released his third CD as a leader, Haymaker to great reviews. Leading a band that includes top guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Matt Pavolka and drummer Colin Stranahan, Preminger creates music that fits squarely in the jazz tradition, yet has a modern edge. There is a great deal of tension and resolution in this music, yet always with a melodic touch. In short, this is a great step forward for Noah, and hopefully, a sign of great things to come.
I spoke with Noah as he and the quartet prepared to visit his alma mater, the New England Conservatory, for a performance and talk, as well as my alma mater, Clark University, for an outside gig. We talked about how he chooses his musical partners, his side project playing afrobeat-infused music with Kindred Spirits, and what students should really learn while at music school. Podcast 380 contains our conversation, plus musical selections including:
Noah Preminger – Title Track and “Don’t Drink the Water” from Haymaker. The adventurous Preminger took up boxing as a way to quit smoking, and hence the title of the new CD. His early love of jam band music led to his cover of this Dave Matthews Band tune.
Rob Garcia 4 – “The Return” from The Drop and the Ocean. Drummer Garcia is one of Noah’s favorite musical collaborators, and Preminger was part of this 2012 release, featuring Garcia on drums, Preminger on sax, Dan Tepfer on piano and John Hébert on bass.