Loyalty Label LLCD005,
by Steve Koenig
The cover drawing
shows a man in a black hat and black suit upright behind the locomotive car,
blowing his horn. With his legs over the edge of the car is a guitarist. The
cover represents the blues.
The music, however,
brings memories of some '70s loft jazz sessions, Irabagon responding to modules
of his own sax phrases, Pride's drumming setting rhythm but even more so, counterpoint
to the sax, and its own melody and pointillism.
Some of Irabagon's
blowing does sound like the horn of the freight train, but the riveting aspect
is the permutations of the horn riff: gutbucket godchild of Roscoe Mitchell's
is clever, using varied patterns over varied lengths of time, prodding Irabagon
on, not Jazz at The Philharmonic style, but daring, taunting, nudging, and meshing
with the sax, whether single slams or expanding trains.
This set is an
extremely satisfying trip, and rewards frequent flying.
Irabagon can also
be heard to advantage with Peter Evans, Kevin Shea and Moppa Elliott in an ensemble
called Mostly Other People Do The Killing (Hot Cup 082). In addition to great
improvised music, the jacket of their album This Is Our Moosic is a delightful
parody of Ornette Coleman's This Is Our Music cover.