Irabagon is far better under his own steam than when he was with Mostly Other People Do The Killing, a band that I never really warmed to although remaining in long term admiration of their sparkling individuality. Everyone knows the saxophonist has monster chops and he is a former winner of the Monk competition. That actually means something. This record is for bebop heads and people who teach jazz in college. I'd recommend someone setting up a module just on Irabagon... get Chris Potter to teach it... and then alternate: have Irabagon teach a module on Potter. The thing no one will be able to answer though is how does he do it?

The band here is full of stars: Tim Hagans, Luis Perdomo, Yasushi Nakamura less familiarly and the Frisellian Rudy Royston. OK, a bit more detail... this is intricate jazz that you might be familiar with from the sort of groups that Dave Holland has led in the Points of View style although there is no trombone.

Hagans and Irabagon as the horn players are like brothers from different mothers because their bond is so close. The rhythm section is like a runaway truck with H&I sitting up front in the cab, Perdomo is a wrecking ball, great to hear him again. (Last time I copped a bit of him was on a Camille Thurman record called Origins which was pretty good and Royston was on that too.)

To sum up and apply the brakes: wonderful how these Exotics simply excite and breathe life into bebop that in the hands of less imaginative individuals these days is more of a cadaver for medicine music and passing the time. Out soon.   

Jon Irabagon website.