Jon Irabagon | Hernani Faustino | Gabriel Ferrandini | Absolute Zero | Not Two Records

Not Two, 2013 | MW 874-2 | CD

Jon Irabagon – alto saxophone | Hernani Faustino – double bass | Gabriel Ferrandini – drums

Recording by Joaquim Monte at Namouche Studio, Lisbon 19th October 2009

Tracklist: 1. States of Matter 2. Nova 3. Parallax 4. Cosmic Distance 5. Crust 6. Degrees of Freedom 7. Spacetime

Jon Irabagon | Hernani Faustino | Gabriel Ferrandini | Absolute Zero | nottwo records

Jon Irabagon | Photo by Michael Hoefner

Jon picked up the alto saxophone in 4th grade

and the piano soon thereafter, but didn’t become serious about music until high school, where he learned about music from notable teachers Tom Beckwith and Greg Fishman. He then began performing around the Chicago suburbs, and eventually went to DePaul University to major in music business and minor in journalism. After accounting and economics classes during the day, Jon would perform in clubs nightly, gaining experience in the many different styles of music that Chicago had to offer. The challenge of finding his own voice while also keeping true to the myriad of musical styles he’d have to play from night to night was an integral part of the fun for Jon during this period, and he subsequently realizes the effect that this has had on his music ever since.

During this period, Jon was able to perform with jazz masters John Abercrombie, Tom Harrell, and Dick Oatts, rock and pop superstars Richard Marx and the Pointer Sisters, and the then up-and-coming crooner Michael Buble. Jon also had the good fortune of learning on the bandstand from many of Chicago’s best musicians, including Ron Kolber, Ryan Shultz, Tom Hipskind, Neal Alger, Larry Kohut, Eric Montzka, John McLean, and Jerry Coleman, while studying formally with Greg Fishman, Mark Colby, and Bob Palmieri.

In the fall of 2001, Jon relocated to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music and study with one of his idols, Dick Oatts. Jon also studied with Dave Liebman, Dave Binney, Jason Moran, and Billy Drewes at this time, and received a Masters Degree in 2003. Jon played lead alto in the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra during his years there, and can be heard on the album Sketches of Spain Live! The Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra with Dave Liebman. Jon was consequently invited to play lead alto for the newly-formed jazz program at the Juilliard School, and studied under the tutelage of Victor Goines, receiving an Artist Diploma there in 2005. Since that time, Jon has been performing in and around New York City, and has toured through the entire continental United States, Europe, Costa Rica, Japan, and Taiwan.

Jon is fortunate enough to have been recognized in Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards both for performance (2004) and composition (2006), and was a participant in the 2003 Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, the 2006 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program in Washington, D.C., and the 2008 Steans Institute of Jazz in Chicago, IL, meeting and working with legendary jazz educator David Baker. … more can be found on Jon Irabagon’s web site by clicking here…

Jon Irabagon | Hernani Faustino | Gabriel Ferrandini | Absolute Zero | nottwo records

Jon Irabagon | Photo by Bryan Murray

“Jon is one of New York City’s most deadly hornmen.” — Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York

“The alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon has a smart tone, a shrewd technique and a catholic grasp of the jazz tradition.” — Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Irabagon’s statement is genuinely original. It’s worth noting that Irabagon is developing into one of those players who, despite having an essentially mainstream approach to jazz, has a vocabulary so singular and original that he can be identified almost immediately, hard to mistake for, say, Chris Potter. Amen.” — Will Layman, PopMatters

“Saxophonist Jon Irabagon is gifted with a unique encyclopedic knowledge of jazz saxophone masters.” — Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

“Jon Irabagon impresses with his authoritative, bold sound that sometimes recalls Coleman Hawkins as much as anyone. But Irabagon is a sensitive player for the 21st century, with winding, confident lines that snake in and out of conventional harmonies and a deep understanding of melody. He is just as effective on the understated compositions on album.” — Steven Loewy, All Music Guide

“Jon Irabagon embraces every aspect of the tradition, from featherweight balladry to coruscating skronk. A sonic extremist, his capacity for transposing dissonant multiphonics and undulating overtones into tuneful phrases is demonstrated on “Sky Circles” and the vociferous “Monkey Catcher.” His keening cries yield strangely appealing harmonies.” — Troy Collins, All About Jazz

“Jon is unpredictable in the best possible ways, often very deviously. Here, he alternates between straightforward, buoyant melody and frequent cloudbursts of bop.” —  Lucid Culture Blog

Jon Irabagon | Hernani Faustino | Gabriel Ferrandini | Absolute Zero | nottwo records

Hernani Faustino | Photo by Vera Marmelo

After establishing his name during the Eighties

as an electric bass guitarist in alternative rock bands, like the now legendary K4 Quadrado Azul, Hernani Faustino turned to avant-jazz and free improvised music and chose the double bass as his self-taught instrument. Two decades later of multiple interactions with Portuguese and international musicians, he’s now considered one of the most intense and solid bassists in the Portuguese scene. The association he maintains with drummer Gabriel Ferrandini (RED trio, Nobuyasu Furuya Trio & Quintet, Rodrigo Amado Quartet) has been pointed as a dynamic and powerful rhythm section . His visceral playing is well showed by the contortions of his face during a performance: he goes to the limits of pleasure and pain.

Music is his life: besides being a musician, he’s an associate of the label Clean Feed, considered one of the five more important on the planet in what regards jazz, and the Trem Azul Jazz Store, located in Lisbon. He also composed for theatre, produced radio programs, and wrote about music in a couple of magazines. A good part of his activity in photography is also music oriented: Faustino is one of the most accomplished stage photographers around. This says all about his passion and commitment.

Hernani Faustino’s numerous meetings and collaborations with other improvisors is astonishing: John Butcher, Nate Wooley, Carlos “Zíngaro”, Rafael Toral, Jason Stein, Nuno Rebelo, Ernesto Rodrigues, Vítor Rua, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Pedro Sousa, Jon Irabagon, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Neil Davidson, Heddy Boubaker, Katsura Yamauchi, Mats Gustafsson, Chris Corsano, Nikolaus Gerszewski, Rob Mazurek, Reinhold Friedl, Blaise Siwula, Virginia Genta, Daniel Carter, Federico Ughi, Floros Floridis, Matt Bauder, Dennis González and many more, covering a wide range from free bop to extreme experimentation, going through electroacoustic improv, reductionism and noise. — By Rui Eduardo Paes

Jon Irabagon | Hernani Faustino | Gabriel Ferrandini | Absolute Zero | nottwo records

Gabriel Ferrandini

He really is the image of the universal music he plays.

Born in Monterey, California, Gabriel Ferrandini is the son of a Portuguese father born in Mozambique but relocated to Brasil with only 2 years of age, and of a Brasilian mother with Italian ascendecy migrated to the United States in her teenage years. This “citizen of the world” lives in Portugal since he was 9 years old, and it was in this European country where, ironically, he discovered jazz and the practice of improvisation. This fact is explained by the richness of the jazz and improvised Portuguese music scene, with already big repercussions in the world – as we verify knowing that a Portuguese discographic company, Clean Feed, was chosen by the online journal All About Jazz as Label of the Year in 2008.

This is the context where the young musician is firming is name as one of the most important drummers around. With Rodrigo Amado’s Motion Trio, Red Trio, Nobuyasu Furuya Trio, and the electro-acoustic / noise band Flu, or playing in ad-hoc formations with Rob Mazurek, Alberto Pinton, Alfred “23” Harth, Raymond Strid, and David Stackenas, among others, is presence is strongly felt. Ferrandini has a very personal view of the work with a pair of sticks, somewhere between Paul Lytton and Paal Nilssen-Love, and that makes all the difference. As the magazine wrote, “the future waits for him”. — Rui Eduardo Paes

Jon Irabagon | Hernani Faustino | Gabriel Ferrandini | Absolute Zero | nottwo records


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