Young Bandleader Plays, and Listens


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Precocity without deference can make for a rough start in jazz. The tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger, at 23, clearly understands that: since taking his first real steps as a bandleader a couple of years ago, he has worked often with musicians of deep experience and generous judgment. Dry Bridge Road (Nowt), his auspicious debut, released last year, reflected this strategy. So, too, will a forthcoming live album, which he recorded on Sunday and Monday at the Cornelia Street Cafe.

Mr. Preminger was working there with the guitarist Ben Monder, a prominent fixture on Dry Bridge Road, and the drummer Ted Poor, who also appears on that album. His groups fourth member was Dominique Eade, a veteran jazz vocalist and longtime faculty member at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where Mr. Preminger earned his degree.

Sunday nights first set began with Mr. Preminger and Ms. Eade slaloming in unison through a jagged melodic obstacle course full of tight intervals and dartlike little leaps. It was a transcription of an Ornette Coleman solo, from his original 1971 recording of Law Years, and it served as a declaration of intent. After the rigors of the adapted melody a high hurdle especially for Ms. Eade, who cleared it admirably there came a stretch of open improvisation, with Mr. Poor flailing smartly at his cymbals and snare. Mr. Preminger tackled it with a careful sort of restlessness, not quite embracing abandon.

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