A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Simona Premazzi at the Village Vanguard, via

Simona Premazzi at the Village Vanguard, via

Having moved to New York from Italy a decade ago, pianist Simona Premazzi has emerged on the jazz scene as not only a versatile pianist, but also a thoughtful, continually searching composer. As Ben Ratliff, writing for The New York Times, put it, “Her composing style stays modern without ever being airless and swing-deficient, open without getting lost in harmony and sentimentality. And her soloing is special.”

Her own musical output thus far spans three albums: her 2006 trio début, Looking For An Exit, with Ari Hoenig and Joe Sanders, which features her compositions along with involved arrangements of standards; her 2010 follow-up, Inside In, which features a quartet with Stacy Dillard on tenor saxophone, Ryan Berg on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums; and her most recent release, 2013’s The Lucid Dreamer, released on Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label. Premazzi has been playing in Osby’s quartet in recent years, and both Osby and another Osby associate, saxophonist Melissa Aldana, join Premazzi on the album alongside Ameen Saleem on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums.

Aside from guest appearing on the record and releasing it on his label, Osby also penned the liner notes, writing:

…pianist Simona Premazzi continues the great tradition of musicians that have helped, by artistic measure, to define the underpinnings of composed and improvised instrumental music since its inception. Much like her direct influences, Andrew Hill, Jaki Byard, Sun Ra, Monk and Ahmad Jamal, to name a few, Simona has elected to frame herself squarely in an environment that is demanding of a player’s understanding of time, feel, interchange, and the ability to convey their perspectives on life, sentiment and compassion with an effort that is as sincere as it is emotionally revealing… Especially notable are Premazzi’s exceptionally thoughtful and thematic solos, which clearly reflect her early influence from Andrew Hill – a fitting model indeed.

Hear Simona tell her own story in this short autobiographical clip, and come out on Thursday to hear her compositional and pianistic voices expressed through a formidable modern jazz quintet: saxophonists Dayna Stephens and Will Vinson, bassist Desmond White, and drummer Adam Arruda.

Simona Premazzi performs this Thursday, October 9th, 2014, at The Jazz Gallery. The band will feature Premazzi on piano, Dayna Stephens on tenor saxophone, Will Vinson on alto saxophone, Desmond White on bass, and Adam Arruda on drums. Sets are at 8 and 10 p.m. The first set is $15.00 ($10.00 for Members); the second set is $10.00 for everyone. Purchase tickets here.