Preminger To Release Protest Album Jan. 20


Noah Preminger began writing music for his new album on Election Day (Nov. 8), and he will release it digitally on Inauguration Day (Friday, Jan. 20).

(Photo: Jimmy Katz)

Saxophonist Noah Preminger will release an instrumental album of protest music, Meditations On Freedom (Dry Bridge Records), in digital form on Friday, Jan. 20. That date is also Inauguration Day in the United States, when Donald Trump will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Preminger’s album will be available on CD on Feb. 3.

The album will include original compositions as well as interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan (“Only A Pawn In Their Game”), George Harrison (“Give Me Love [Give Me Peace on Earth]”), Bruce Hornsby (“The Way It Is”) and Sam Cooke (“A Change Is Gonna Come,” which became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s).

The original compositions, which reinforce the theme of musical protest, are titled “The 99 Percent,” “Women’s March,” “Mother Earth,” “Broken Treaties” and “We Have A Dream.”

Preminger’s album will feature his quartet: trumpeter Jason Palmer, double bassist Kim Cass and drummer Ian Froman.

Meditations On Freedom was recorded live in the studio (with no edits) by engineer Jimmy Katz. Preminger followed the same approach for his albums Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground and Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar. Not available on any streaming sites, Preminger’s most recent recordings are offered exclusively for purchase, whether as digital download or on CD, at his own website.

“I hope the titles of the original tunes—and the encoded messages in the covers—can serve as a conversation-starter for listeners and ultimately raise awareness of some subjects I care about, whether it’s women’s rights or climate change or the well-being of Native Americans,” Preminger said. “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’ ‘The 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.”

“Artists should always try to really matter, and that includes jazz musicians—we should strive to be relevant to the wider conversations of our time,” Preminger continued. “I started writing the music for this album on Election Day and came into the session a few weeks later with just sketches for the tunes. I wanted Jason, Kim and Ian to react to the music with immediacy—and with the hard feelings from the election fresh in our minds. I come at the issues of the day from a progressive place, as do the guys in the band. This group is made up of open-hearted, forward-minded people, and that’s ideal for conveying emotion in a strong way … .”

A native of Canton, Connecticut, Preminger released his debut, Dry Bridge Road, in 2008. Other titles in his discography include Haymaker (Palmetto) and Some Other Time, released exclusively as a vinyl LP by Newvelle Records.

For more info on Preminger, visit his website. DB

  • DB2016_Wayne_Shorter_Earshot_Jazz_Daniel_Sheehan.jpg

    Shorter performing at the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle.

  • Keith_Jarrett_by_Michael_Jackson_lo_res.jpg

    “There was a time I decided I was not a composer, only an improvisor, and I find that very difficult to do with one hand,” Jarrett says. “Jumping off a cliff takes two hands and two feet.”

  • img206_AFI_March_1%2C_1984%2C_Carol_Bayer_Sagar%2C_Burt_Bacharach%2C_Miles_Davis_photo_by_John_McDonough.jpg

    Burt Bacharach with Carol Bayer Sagar and Miles Davis in 1984.

  • Samara_Joy_Grammy_Win_Kevin_Winter_Getty_Images_copy.jpg

    ​Samara Joy gives her acceptance speech at the Grammys on Feb. 5.

  • Fred_Hersch_Esperanza_Spalding_Erika_Kapin_Photography.jpg

    The album Alive At The Village Vanguard (Palmetto), featuring Hersch on piano and spalding on vocals, was recorded in 2018.

On Sale Now
April 2023
Brad Mehldau
Look Inside
Print | Digital | iPad