Jon Irabagon

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Foxy

The cover is a reproduction of the classic cover of Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West album, except Rollins has been replaced by a woman in a bikini; add to this the fact that the album consists of one marathon version of Rollins’ tune ‘Doxy’, and the title is explained. It is nominally divided into twelve tracks, with almost all the titles rhyming with ‘Doxy’, but there aren’t really any separate tracks at all, and the performance doesn’t even start or finish: it is presented as a slice of infinity. It was recorded in 2010 by brand-new tenor star Irabagon, accompanied by veteran free-jazz drummer Barry Altschul and bassist Peter Brendler, both of whom play brilliantly, although the spotlight never leaves Irabagon, who is the only soloist and never lets up for a second. Although you might interpret this crazy music as jazz eating itself, I think it bodes very well for the future of the music, since it shows that things can still be pushed even further. What Irabagon is trying to do, as far as I can see, is obsessively deconstruct Rollins’ style, just as Rollins’ obsessively deconstructed the tunes he played. The obsession reaches absolutely insane proportions on ‘Roxy’: I could barely believe this stretch of music the first time I heard it.