The Lucid Dreamer​/​selected tracks

by Simona Premazzi

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Liner notes written by Greg Osby:
“With The Lucid Dreamer, 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.
This collection features a cast of some of the most heralded and sought after musicians in today’s jazz sphere; tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, bassist Ameen Saleem, drummer Jochen Rueckert and myself, Greg Osby on alto and soprano saxophones. Each composition features a delicate interplay throughout amongst the musicians that exhibits the incredible musical aptitude of the players themselves and easily reflects their mutual respect and admiration for the leader as well as her vision.
The performances on The Lucid Dreamer straddle the line between chamber music and more ­intuitive offerings, and the musicians often find themselves in the midst of creating ghostly soundscapes that evoke visions of subconscious inspiration. As the name suggests, this project suggests imagery that conjures surreal, almost dreamlike sound vistas. Especially notable are Premazzi’s exceptionally thoughtful and thematic solos, which clearly reflect her early influence from Andrew Hill – a fitting model indeed.
Imagination, technique, and dedication - it takes all three for the creative process to produce a completed work of art, be it painting, sculpture, dance, theatre, writing, or in the case of The Lucid Dreamer, music. Imagination provides the creativity to re-arrange silence with a finite number of sounds in a way not heard before; technique provides the ability to physically manipulate the instruments to bring forth the sounds the imagination has conceived; dedication provides the impetus to overcome the numerous major and minor obstacles that can prevent the artist from completing the work and making it available to a receptive and welcoming audience.
Each successive listen to this stunning work, reveals a rich and intricate fabric of musical voices strongly rooted in contemporary expression. Fortunately, the artists featured on The Lucid Dreamer, guided by the informed leadership of Simona Premazzi, have artfully crafted a most memorable work that will continue to inspire each and every listener for some time to come – whether dreaming or awake.”

All compositions written by Simona Premazzi except for track 7 by Simona Premazzi and Alice Ricciardi, track 8 by Thelonious Monk,
track 10 by Melissa Aldana.
"Love Is Not All" poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
One For Hunter S. was composed in dedication to Hunter S. Thompson.

Recorded on December 16 and 17, 2012 by Tom Tedesco at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, N.J.
Mixed and mastered on June 2013 by Liberty Ellman at 4DS Studios, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cover Design by Riccardo Gola.
Produced by Simona Premazzi

GREG OSBY soprano saxophone on track 6, alto sax on track 7.
MELISSA ALDANA tenor saxophone on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 10.


released October 25, 2013

THE LUCID DREAMER reviewed in The New York Times by Ben Ratliff
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.


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Simona Premazzi New York, New York

"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”
[Ben Ratliff – New York Times].

New York based pianist Simona Premazzi has developed an impressive body of work as a composer and bandleader. Originally from Italy, Premazzi hails from a small town in the outskirts of Milano.
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