Noah Preminger: Before the Rain

Adventurous tenor saxophonist-composer Noah Preminger assembles an empathetic crew of pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist John Hébert and drummer Matt Wilson. They strike a relaxed yet powerful accord on the standards “Where or When” and “Until the Real Thing Comes Along” and the gentle title track before exploring Ornette Coleman’s “Toys.” Their spirited romp through Kimbrough’s Dewey Redman invocation, “Quickening,” is underscored by Wilson’s elastic-melodic drumming and features brilliant solos from Preminger and Hébert. Wilson whips up a polyrhythmic whirlwind on “Abreaction,” which gradually builds to a free-boppish crescendo, and he reveals an exquisite touch with brushes on the hymnlike “Jamie.” But Preminger’s beautiful tone and fertile ideas dominate on this superb sophomore outing.