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Jon Irabagon Quartet: Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics

Mark Corroto By

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It's easy imagine Hollywood producers putting together a comic book superhero movie when listening to a recording by the saxophonist Jon Irabagon. We know that after joining Moppa Elliott's Mostly Other People Do The Killing and winning the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, he decided to use his super powers for good instead of evil. Like that young spider guy, he had to learn exactly what his powers entailed. Moving on from MOPDTK, Irabagon has collaborated with others with special powers in the Dave Douglas Quintet and with Mary Halvorson and Barry Altschul, turning heads with his ability to leap tall intervals and bear the heaviest chord progressions with ease.

This quartet recording takes on that Avengers feel with his pseudonym, Dr. Quixotic and his band Traveling Exotics, aka fellow superhero musicians. Irabagon assembled a mighty cast which includes pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and drummer Rudy Royston. Their previous release was Behind The Sky (Irabbagast, 2015), and included trumpeter Tom Harrell. Here, the guest is Tim Hagans, a trumpeter who shares Irabagon's appreciation for the jazz canon, but is also inclined to fire a shot or two forward.

Compositions like "Emotional Physics/The Things" and "Taipei Personality" typify the unit's approach. Time becomes a pliant substance, accelerated beyond human limits that the quartet and Hagans just perambulate with ease. With this barrier broken, the musicians can also move back and forth within jazz history, reimagining Joe Henderson/Kenny Dorham exchanges within the complex web of Irabagon's arrangements. The saxophonist's approach has always been one of "try, if you can, to follow me." With Perdomo, Nakamura, and Royston that requirement is fulfilled. With the great powers Irabagon possesses, comes great responsibility. Thank you Dr. Quixotic.

Track Listing: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Week; Emotional Physics/The Things; You Own Your Own; The Bo’Ness Monster; Pretty Like North Dakota; Taipei Personality.

Personnel: Jon Irabagon: tenor saxophone; Luis Perdomo: piano; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Rudy Royston: drums; Tim Hagans: trumpet.

Title: Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Irabbagast

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