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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sylvain Rifflet & Jon Irabagon: Perpetual Motion (A Celebration of Moondog)

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In 1932, when he was sixteen years old, living in the heartland of depression era America, a farm accident left Louis Thomas Hardin blind. For roughly twenty-five years spanning the 1940s to the mid-1970s, he was often found on some street corner in the vicinity of 52nd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan, sometimes talking philosophically to no one in particular, often standing stock-still and silent and in full Viking regalia. At times, he slept in doorways though he had shelter in the city and in upstate New York. The streets however, were the place to absorb the sounds and ...

INTERVIEWS

Jon Irabagon: Examining All The Angles

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Saxophonist Jon Irabagon likes challenges in music; likes attempting different things. He's not opposed to things traditional, but would prefer to come at music and sounds from different angles. He enjoys the journey; enjoys experiencing the results. At 35, he's on the go all the time, ubiquitous on the jny: New York City music scene. In the next minute, he's often off to Europe on tour with one of his own groups or playing as a sideman. Not long after he came to New York from jny: Chicago in 2001, he was there for the birth of Mostly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Irabagon: It Takes All Kinds

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It Takes All Kinds is the third recorded collaboration between prolific tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon and a great drummer, Barry Altschul. The first, Irabagon's Foxy (Hot cup, 2010) featured double bassist Peter Brendler. The second, Altschul's The 3dom Factor (TUM, 2013) featured double bass player Joe Fonda. The most recent one features Altschul's longtime rhythm teammate, double bassist virtuoso Mark Helias. Irabagon, Altschul and Helias are each highly creative musicians with distinct, dominant voices nurtured by an extensive, diverse array of expressions. Irabagon divides his career between being a key player in ensembles like the quartet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Irabagon Trio: It Takes All Kinds

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This trio radiated Olympian style heroics akin to an endurance race on Foxy (Hot Cup, 2010). It was an arousing exercise in energy and power. And while drummer Barry Altschul, and bassist Mark Helias are time-honored jazz warriors-- respectively appearing on many landmark albums--saxophonist Jon Irabagon is now firmly seated with the upper-echelon of modern saxophone heroes. His star has definitely risen. A first-call session ace and stalwart member of the cutting-edge, nouveau jazz ensemble Mostly Other People Do The Killing, the artist is a force to be reckoned with. And perhaps no other album to date highlights his titanic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Irabagon/ Hernani Faustino/ Gabriel Ferrandini: Absolut Zero

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If you are as extraordinarily talented as saxophonist Jon Irabagon, probably best known from his tenure in the gloriously irreverent Mostly Other People Do The Killing, then you might occasionally need to set yourself challenges. He's done it before, on Foxy (Hot Cup, 2010), where he undertakes a relentless examination of a theme from every conceivable angle over 78 uninterrupted minutes. In this instance the gauntlet he has thrown down for himself seems to be to construct something meaningful via the medium of circular breathing and overblown histrionics. Few can have investigated the techniques with as much gusto.It's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Hertenstein - Achim Tang - Jon Irabagon: Future Drone

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Now residing in New York City, Germany-reared drummer Joe Hertenstein employs musicians from Europe or the US and to some extent, merges the avant-garde strata and stylistic tendencies into an opportunistic creative forum. This trio outing is a prime example. Featuring Viennese bassist Achim Tang and American tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, the album pronounces a shrewd conglomeration of avant- garde minimalism, and excitable free-jazz with nervy sensibilities. Hertenstein is a master at complementing his band mates' gait via meticulously designed tom rolls and rendering crisp, understated jazz drumming amid vociferous free-bop cadences. “Seven for Nothing" is one of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Irabagon: Foxy

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In choosing to craft his tribute to the idiom and energy of hard bop around one of Sonny Rollins' classic compositions, “Doxy," but to use the surreal, carnival atmosphere of Rollins' 1957 cover art for Way Out West (Contemporary), young tenor saxophonist, Jon Irabagon has made one of the more memorable tenor saxophone trio records, Foxy, with the mighty Barry Altschul on drums and breathtaking bassist, Peter Brendler. In doing so, Irabagon has broken the barrier of the classic sixteen-bar song by improvising almost interminably for almost eighty minutes on an original theme--something Rollins did famously in the structure-defying Way ...



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