Chicago-raised New Yorker Jon Irabagon won the Thelonious Monk competition in the USin 2008. Previous winners include Joshua Redman and Jacky Terrasson. His prize included a recording with Concord- it’s the first time this has been part of the prize.
So far, SO impressive. Irabagon, not doing things by halves, was off into the legendary Van Gelder studios in New Jersey to record with with Kenny Barron on piano, Rufus Reid on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. The CD is called The Observer (which possibly has another connotation in England). It’s an impressive album. He’s a very fluent alto and -particularly- tenor player.
But this week the story takes an unexpected turn. Irabagon will be in London on Wednesday. At The Others *in Stoke Newington on a double bill with local saxophonist Rachel Musson’s quartet. Irabagon will be having his chops challenged by that freest of free jazz drummers Tony Marsh. It will be an extraordinary juxtaposition. This is not going to be Late Junction aural wallpaper. This will be challenging listening. Give it a try?
(*Source of wacky descriptions: Spoonfed)