Review By BEN RATLIFF
THE LUCID DREAMER
A young Italian jazz pianist, Simona Premazzi has been playing gigs steadily in New York since 2007 or so, and performing with Greg Osby’s quartet more recently. Her third album, “The Lucid Dreamer,” a quartet record including the saxophonist Melissa Aldana, has just been released by Mr. Osby’s label, Inner Circle. She’s bringing a lot to the table. Her composing style stays modern without ever being airless and swing-deficient, open without getting lost in harmony and sentimentality; idea driven but so much that the listener needs explanations. (Although in “Love Is Not All,” she forms melodic piano phrases aligning with Edna St. Vincent Millay’s voice reading her poem of that name — an idea that Jason Moran used in “Ringing My Phone.”) And her soloing is special: She’s picking up on a complex, heavily rhythmic and idiosyncratic tradition that goes back to stride piano and runs through Thelonious Monk and Andrew Hill. Her solos move in fits and starts, flowing and abrupt, always interesting.