Aaron Irwin: “A Room Forever”
This one could haunt you. On his new disc “A Room Forever,” Aaron Irwin, a jazz saxophonist from central Illinois and now living in New York City, has composed 12 original songs based on the short stories of the late West Virginian author, Breece Pancake, whose hardscrabble tales celebrate an American pastoral slowly receding into history. Accompanied by guitar, bass, and trombone, Irwin plays clarinet throughout the recording, exploiting the instrument’s essential mournfulness, the sublime call and cry of Appalachia. His music is simultaneously modern and eternal, tapping into elemental feelings of yearning, memory and future possibility, all with a sublimity and beauty worthy of the Blue Ridge mountains.