Saxophonist/composer Jason Rigby is a relative rarity amongst youthful jazz players (sometimes referred to as "Young Lions" or in the words of the late Steve Lacy, "reboppers") - namely, he seems more concerned with the way his original music "sounds" as a whole rather than as a showcase for the musicians.
If fact, without taking anything away from his excellent sax-work, Rigby is known as an flourishing composer who plays sax as opposed to a saxophonist who composes well. Compositionally, he recalls Gil Evans - both focused and all-embracing, and Paul Motian - spacious and Impressionistic. As far as his originals (and Space is all originals) go, Rigby gives the impression of deriving inspiration from modal hard bop, '50s West Coast cool, Third Stream (= jazz + 20th century classical composition), discreet "free" moments, and the un-funky, less commercial styles of fusion, without any hint of glibness or pastiche.
Sax-wise, he evokes Wayne Shorter's litheness and body (esp. on soprano), the blues-laden bittersweetness of Ornette Coleman, and the obliquely folk-like, dry-ice cool of John Surman. Best of all, Rigby doesn't overplay or engage in ham-it-up displays of "technique." His fellow conspirators follow his lead.... and rest assured, though the only "name" musicians present are Cameron Brown and Mark Ferber, Rigby's raiders play crisply, with dexterity and economy are mos def some top shelf cats. Despite the slightly pretentious title (is there ever "dense space?"), Translucent Space just might be one of the debut discs of 2006.