Noah Preminger Trio: Sky Continuous

Coltrane-oriented saxophonist is joined by Kim Cass and Bill Stewart in a pianoless trio to play eight originals and one standard


This album was recorded when Preminger reminded Jerry Teekens, near-namesake son of Gerry Teekens, that his father had suggested a trio set with the saxophonist. Gerry had died in 2019 but his son was keen to continue with the project.

Preminger plays with a contemporary approach to an old format. He uses long lines and has a tendency to play quite a bit in the upper register of his horn, rather like Coltrane did in the 1950s; there’s a definite Trane influence in Preminger’s lines too.

Also, like Coltrane, Preminger likes occasionally to fly along with just bass and drums as the pianist lays out. No laying out is necessary here as there is no pianist, just a particularly good bass player and drummer. The three are tightly cohesive and the music swings along in free-flowing, easy mode.

The session kicks off with FTGOP. I wonder what that stands for? “For The Good Of Preminger”, maybe? At any rate, the tenor solo is straightahead with a continuous rhythmic counterpoint from bass and drums. The three players lock together easily with Cass playing some striking, virtuoso bass lines and short solos. Stewart is busy but never overwhelming, his thrust and rhythmic patterns always fitting in with the other two.

On Iris, Cass plays the bass line throughout using harmonics. It is an attractive line, described by Preminger as “a soulfully elegiac tone poem”. Or maybe just a melodic ballad? High Or Booze, meantime, rhymes with minor blues which is exactly what it is.

There are eight originals by Preminger on this CD which are serviceable for improvisation without being memorable. Playing six and adding two standards to work on could have provided more contrast and variety. Jamz is a slow burn intended to round out the set but finding they had extra time to fill the trio added the session’s one standard, Jackie McLean’s Little Melonae, which gets an original reading. The theme adds welcome melody and variety though.

FTGOP; High Or Booze; The Late 90s; Iris; You’ll Never Win; Armor; Sky Continuous; Jamz; Little Melonae (55.58)
Preminger (ts); Kim Cass (b); Bill Stewart (d). NYC, 9 November 2021.
Criss Cross 1411