A nightly string of various ensemble configurations probably seems like a just another normal week for Jon Irabagon. The saxophonist’s wide-angle approach to bandleading has defined his work in the last decade, and from straight-ahead swing to solo abstraction to wind and string quartets to Moondog tributes to metal-tinged blues excursions to aggro freebop, the 40-something virtuoso makes his appetite for diversity a just another commonplace of life. The fruits of a curious mind and ambitious work ethic are simply routine parts of his diet. For open-minded fans of improv that means plenty of goosebumps. When matched with his well-documented horn skills, Irabagon’s probing usually results in some delightful juxtapositions. The pieces on his Quartet’s Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics bend rules left and right, the new contours offering refreshing vistas while still be legible as a modern offshoot of a recognizable approach (check “Pretty Like North Dakota”). When he takes over The Stone this week – starting tonight and rolling through Saturday – he puts his omni aesthetic center stage. The kickoff group’s name is telling: Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor meets the Jon Irabagon Trio plus 2 equals 6. It’s an unholy blend inventive players – including Tim Hagans, Mark Helias, Uri Caine and Joe Fonda – helping the leader find accord between all the possibilities in his head. Irabagon – clocking discoveries and rolling forward, NBD. Orthodox, he ain’t.
THE STONE RESIDENCY
February 25: Jon Irabagon/Barry Altschul/Joe Fonda/Uri Caine/Tim Hagans
February 26: I Don’t Hear Nothin’ but the Blues CD Release show featuring Mick Barr, Ava Mendoza and Mike Pride
February 27: Jon Irabagon/Brian Marsella duo
February 28: Jon Irabagon/Matt Mitchell/Chris Lightcap/Dan Weiss
February 29: New piece for woodwind quintet featuring Michel Gentile/Katie Scheele/Mike McGinnis/Nathan Koci/Sara Schoenbeck
The Stone 13th St. and 6th Ave. in Manhattan. Each night is one set at 8:30 pm. $20.