Jon Irabagon should already be well known among modern free-jazz connoisseurs and I for one can say he’s my favorite young sax player. I’ve discovered him while listening to a great group that he’s involved in called Mostly Other People Do The Killing. It’s worth looking it up.
On this record he teamed up with RED Trio members Hernani Faustino on bass and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums, and they just fit together perfectly. They don’t go all out from the beginning, on the contrary, their playing is sometimes quite restrained and very focused, making their opening piece called States of Matter seem like the work of some laid back veterans who’ve seen it all.
Jon has that versatility where he can be melodic without ever seeming to be simple and clichéd, or he can go to the edge of atonality and then turn back with ease. Faustino's bass kicks off Nova in a more spacious manner, then Irabagon starts crying through his sax in what is the most touching song I’ve listened to this year. In the end, the impulsive nature of any good free-jazz musician prevails and we’re also served with some mad good circular breathing sax work to which Ferrandini’s rhythmic patterns fit like a glove.
My headphones are usually reserved for field recordings and sound art listening sessions in the dark, but this time I must say that the best way for me to listen to Absolut Zero was by using them during some long walks around the streets of Bucharest this autumn and also while riding the city’s dusty busses. It’s pure free-jazz, really well done and certainly not just for fans of the genre.
Tracklist:1. States Of Matter
4. Cosmic Distance
6. Degrees Of Freedom