Saxophonist Jon Irabagon's playing is a treat on this recording with RED Trio members Hernani Faustino and Gabriel Ferrandini. His sax work is restained and searching at times and scorching and scathing at others throughout this focused but free program. Unlike the hearty swinging from the get go, on say his album Foxy or the recent 3Dom Factor, the approach to playing here begins more introspective and evolving, gelling as the songs progress, reaching moments of kinetic cohesion, only to be pulled back to start all over again.
The opening 'States of Matter' starts slowly, builds to an intense climax, not made of volume but of restraint, that soon devolves into just sound of Irabagon's breath through his mouthpiece. Ferrandini's percussion work shadows and pulsates as he deftly fills the many spaces in the sparse, but not lacking, instrumentation. Faustino's bass kicks off 'Nova' in a stately spacious manner, then Irabagon enters with a keen wail. He works the microtones and the upper registers of his horn almost sounding he is pushing through some deep pain. The duo plays through the tension beautifully and when the percussion finally joins lightly, a certain peace has been achieved.
The last track, 'Spacetime' is another exercise in intensity as Irabagon plays a circular motif that never lets up as the tension slowly builds. By the end, Ferrandini's unique rhythmic patterns have meshed so thoroughly with the sax and bass that it is hard to distinguish an individual in the group (metaphorically speaking).
Absolut Zero, is hardly the unbelievably cold temperature to which the title refers, rather it is a warm and layered achievement.
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