Jon Irabagon: Foxy (2010)
Fashioned as a late night session, the continuous 78 minutes of saxophonist Jon Irabagon's Foxy is an unrelenting sixteen-bar jam that feels as if the infamous Dean Benedetti had recorded the get-together and now, some nine months (not years) later, it is being released.
Irabagon, the winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, has never rested on the laurels of that distinguished title. He has divided his time between more traditional jazz, recording The Observer (Concord, 2009) with Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, and Victor Lewis, while maintaining his outlaw status in Mostly Other People Do The Killing. Often difficult to remedy his two personalities, he plays straight-ahead jazz in Confluence and bebop in his Sonny Rollins covers band, while releasing a tour de force free jazz duo with drummer Mike Pride, I Don''t Hear Nothin'' But the Blues (Loyal label, 2009).
On Foxy, he employs bassist Peter Brendler and drum legend Barry Altschul, of the storied band Circle (with Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Anthony Braxton and partnerships with Paul Bley and Sam Rivers.
The disc opens with a fade in, the band in full flight, racing its blues from some imaginary subterranean club. Altschul matches Irabagon's energy, while Brendler keeps the form intact. Despite the music being broken into individual tracks, it maintains a continuous pace throughout, as Irabagon keeps throwing out note-upon- jazz-quote and the kitchen sink. Pieces and parts of Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and, maybe, Sonny Stitt can be heard. Barely a pause is allowed during the entire disc. While Irabagon is stunning, the American label reemergence of Altschul is to be celebrated. His vitality is unremitting, driving the beat throughout.
Like the legendary Benedetti recordings this one ends mid-note, the band continuing to drive on while the tape (or digital device) runs out.
Like the legendary Benedetti recordings this one ends mid-note, the band continues to drive on while our tape (or digital device) has run out.
Track Listing: Foxy; Proxy; Chicken Poxy; Boxy; Hydroxy' Biloxi; Tsetse; Unorthodoxy; Epoxy; Roxy; Foxy (radio edit); Moxie.
Personnel: Jon Irabagon: saxophone; Peter Brendler: bass; Barry Altschul: drums.