Most of you may only know JON IRABAGON from his contributions to that wonderful band, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, but he's also a interesting solo artist in his own right. He was the winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition and released a bunch of records that's as diverse as eclectic, exploring the cooler areas with "The Observer" and the wilder ones with "I Don't Hear Nothin' But The Blues" (with drummer Mike Pride).
His latest album, FOXY, continues in the vein of his project with Pride, as the record consists of merely one improvisation. One piece of improv of nearly 80 minutes long, that is! While it has the loose feel and kinetic energy of an after hours session of the classic hardbop ear, Irabagon frequently delves into much wilder and unpredictable territory.
There are bluesy smears and ecstatic cries, there's wild interplay and the energy level stays very high throughout. The rhythm section of Peter Brendler and Barry Altschul swings hard and provides a chunky foundation, but Irabagon's relentless blowing is simply overwhelming. Rarely have we heard inventive playing that remains this invigorating; as if the raucous intensity of European free improv merges with groovy hardbop steeped in blues and soul. Highly recommended and available from Instant Jazz!!