Monday, March 23, 2015

Concert Review: The Noah Preminger Quartet at 55 Bar

After taking in two hours of arias at Carnegie Hall, I wasn’t up for a musical nightcap at another pricey and formal venue during a brief visit to New York City last week.

I longed for something gritty and informal.  I found it at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village.  Noah Preminger led a quartet in a fierce performance that matched the ambiance of the dark and dingy basement venue.

About 25 people heard the tenor saxophonist, trumpeter Billy Buss, bassist Kim Cass and drummer Ian Froman open the second set with a harmolodic fury capable of startling Ornette Coleman.

Preminger’s intensity validated his status as one of the most exciting young saxophonists of the new millennium. 

Buss demonstrated why he beat out Kansas City’s Hermon Mehari in taking second place at last year’s Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition.  Cass and Froman went full throttle for much of the 45-minute set.

I’m pleased that the majority of Kansas City’s young jazz musicians are mindful of the mainstream tradition.  I’d be even happier if a few of them revealed an affinity for the adventurous likes of Coleman and Don Cherry.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)


Cb said...

I really dig Noah Preminger's music, HIB. He's from the east coast, correct?

Happy In Bag said...

That's right, Cb. And he looks like a brainy version of Rocky Balboa.

Anonymous said...

Let's do the math. About 25 people attended that NYC gig with a metro area of around 20 million. The KC metro area is about 2.3 million. Hmmm. Several times I've been one out of 5-6 patrons at "outside jazz" gigs in KC. Oh crap... I hope this doesn't start another "jazz is dead" rant ;)