New York, NY
Outright! is the debut CD by alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, whom Time Out New York calls “one of the city’s deadliest horn players.” The emphasis here isn’t on runs of notes and impressing the au-dience; instead, Irabagon and crew strive for cohesive group improvisations, intricate yet singable melodies, and a spirit of in-the-moment improvisation that looks past the Young Lion All-Star phenomenon and more towards a group-centered view of creation.
Jon spent his formative years not only in the classroom (Manhattan School of Music, The Juil- liard School) but more emphatically out in the clubs of Chicago and New York City, performing everything from jazz, avant garde, big band, rock, pop, modern classical, electronic, and Brazilian music. Jon is a sideman in several forward-think- ing groups, including Matt Grason’s Motel Project (featuring Washingon, D.C.’s most daring freestyle beat poets), the free improvising RIDD Quartet (Clean Feed Records), the Jostein Gulbrandsen Quartet (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jon Lundbom’s Big Five Chord, and Moppa Elliott’s terrorist be-bop band Mostly Other People Do the Killing (Hot Cup). The latter has been garnering rave reviews and interviews in JazzTimes, Downbeat, and Play- boy magazines. All of these experiences have led to this first album as a leader, where Jon combines the approaches and ideals of all this collective work and funnels these ideas through his own compositions with some of New York City’s most promising young talents (who perform regularly with legends Lee Konitz, Tony Malaby, Chris Speed, and others) in tow.
The music changes drastically from track to track, and there is a hint of something for every- one, while wrapped in the most free and breathing group improvisation. References to the music of Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, Tim Berne, Myron Walden, Peter Brotzmann, and even Squarepusher and Aphex Twin might be heard, as the music is created from the realm of today’s New York jazz scene. The songs in this debut CD appeal to not just to the avid jazz lover, but to anyone who is interested in hearing forward-thinking music built on spontaneity and excitement.