Noisy Neighbors

Noah Preminger, ‘Haymaker’

Noah Preminger


Saxophonist Noah Preminger has been making waves since he was a New England Conservatory student. Now 27, he continues to expand on the reach of his plush tenor sound. He called his Palmetto debut (2011’s “Before the Rain”) a “stealth ballads album” and on his second album for the label he again works wonders on the slow tunes. His “My Blues for You” is anything but a standard take on the genre, as Preminger rushes ahead with flurries of notes or falls back, deferring resolution, always lavishing attention on the melody. When a tune is “fast,” like the title track, he works in contrasting tempos, playing long slow lines over drummer Colin Stranahan’s churning patterns, bassist Matt Pavolka providing a flexible lynchpin. Guitarist Ben Monder’s pellucid tone is a perfect complement to Preminger, his rhythmic and melodic counterpoint creating tension along with support. Even the heavy backbeats of the Dave Matthews cover “Don’t Drink the Water” seem to float. And then there’s the Broadway hit “Tomorrow,” again taken slowly. Can you be elegiac about “tomorrow”? Preminger can.

Jon Garelick

ESSENTIAL “Tomorrow”

The Noah Preminger Quartet, with Ben Monder, Matt Pavolka, and Colin Stranahan, comes to Scullers on Sept. 25.

Jon Garelick can be reached at