Terrific pianist Dan Cray, a native of Glen Ellyn, moved to New York in 2009 after spending much of the previous decade building the reputation of his fine Chicago trio with bassist Clark Sommers (now teaching in Idaho) and drummer Greg Wyser-Pratte. On Meridies (Origin), his recent fifth album and first since leaving town, Cray tweaks the group, adding young saxophonist Noah Preminger and replacing Wyser-Pratte with Mark Ferber, but he doesn't waver in his devotion to postbop fundamentals. He does sound hungrier and a bit more aggressive than usual, though?he thrives playing against the swinging steeplechase groove of "Worst Enemy," laying down a blocky solo, filling in spaces left by the rest of the band, and prodding Preminger's tenor with deftly syncopated chords and terse, splintered runs. On "Amor Fati" Cray and Preminger duet, and the latter's supple tone and breathy flow steal the show. This is Preminger's overdue Chicago debut (he's made two killer albums on his own, including a 2011 quartet outing for Palmetto, Before the Rain), and for this engagement Cray's rhythm section is Sommers and drummer Matt Carroll.