Noah Preminger earns #1 Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist
in DownBeat Magazine’s 65th Annual Critics Poll
155 Critics from across the globe vote in poll
Preminger’s most recent album Meditations on Freedom, a protest album released on Inauguration Day, has earned wide critical acclaim
Preminger won handily in his category. A feature article in the current edition of DownBeat cites his “distinctive character” and “huge tenor tone and muscular rhythms.” It calls Preminger’s 2017 Meditations on Freedom “an impassioned musical treatise.”
Meditations on Freedom was released on Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017), as a protest album. It features Preminger’s quartet with trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Ian Froman. The album, recorded live on the studio floor with no edits by engineer Jimmy Katz, reimagines politically charged songs by Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby, Sam Cooke, and George Harrison, and features Preminger originals including “the 99 Percent,” “Women’s March,” “Mother Earth,” “Broken Treatis,” and “We Have a Dream.”
About his motivation to release Meditations, Preminger says, “I realize that the key thing I can hope to do with music – particularly instrumental jazz, with no words – is to heighten emotions. That said, some of the most beautiful, meaningful creations in the history of jazz have been poetic statements of protest, like John Coltrane’s ‘Alabama’ or Sonny Rollins’ ‘Freedom Suite’ and so many more great examples. I would never put myself in that category, but I’m not alone among jazz musicians today who wonder why it is that we do this. Ultimately it’s important to care about something larger than yourself and that’s what I am trying to convey with this music."
30-year-old Preminger has performed on stages from Boston and New York to Europe and Australia, playing with a wide range of jazz greats including Dave Liebman, Dave Holland, Fred Hersch, Dave Douglas, Victor Lewis, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Billy Drummond, George Cables, Roscoe Mitchell, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee, John McNeil and Frank Kimbrough. A native of Canton, Connecticut, Preminger has released eight critically acclaimed albums.
The Boston Globe called Preminger’s music “impressive, challenging and beautiful.” In autumn 2016, Preminger followed his fiery, blues-fueled quartet discs Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground and Pivot: Live at the 55 Bar by showing his more intimate, romantic side again with a collection of ballads, Some Other Time, released exclusively as a vinyl LP by Newvelle Records.
He recorded this with a dream band featuring Monder, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Billy Hart. All About Jazz, reviewing Some Other Time, said: “With this all-star band in tow, Preminger does what he does best: He tells a compelling story without frills – and he does it better than he has ever done before.”
Praise for Meditations on Freedom
4.5 stars—“His playing is like getting a good bottle of wine and smelling the cork.”—Dan Ouellette, DownBeat
“The five Preminger originals traffic in the kind of music-making that makes this young jazz man one of the most intriguing of his generation.”—Steve Feeney, The Arts Fuse
4 stars—“Noah Preminger has recently separated himself from the tenor-saxophone multitudes. He is an immersive improviser. Ideas flow from him in rivers, in continuous adventures of discovery.”—Thomas Conrad, Stereophile
“Preminger produces a large, lovely tone, which he shades a dozen different ways depending on aesthetic need, and has plenty of technique in the tank.”—Neil Tesser, Jazziz
“…deep grooving delight with a rich tenor tone…”—George Harris, Jazz Weekly
“Preminger has a monumental achievement on his hands here.”—Alan Young, New York Music Daily