WRITING ABOUT JAZZ:
LEARNING ABOUT JAZZ:
LISTENING TO JAZZ:
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ.
WINNER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS 2010 CHELSEA-ROEBUCK AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN WEB MEDIA JOURNALISM.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
CD Review: Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord
CD Title: Quavers! Quavers!
Record Label: Hot Cup Records
Style: Jazz Rock
Musicians: Jon Lundbom - Guitar; Jon Irabagon - Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Bryan Murray - Tenor and Balto! Saxophones; Moppa Elliot - Bass; Danny Fischer - Drums; Matt Kanelos - Keyboards.
Review: The first sounds of the opening track "On Jacation," made my body recoil like a bolt-action rifle and riveted me in my chaise longue with nail gun precision. The music's riotous brutality was Richter scale grade and I wondered out aloud: "How is it possible for a band to rock with such raw, rumbling, kinetic high octane impunity?"
I could wax poetically about the unique melodic phrasing and structure employed in this mix of jazz, rock and improvised mayhem. I could also inveigle thoughts and images of other influential and comparable luminaries, as are Marc Ducret, Derek Bailey and John Scofield, to identify an idiosyncratic genius harboring boundary-stretching notions in his musical make up; mining the jazz-rock vein like one other, exciting, avant garde, free jazz disciple named Ornette Coleman.
Instead, I'll simply say:
HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE MUSIC OF JON LUNDBOM & BIG FIVE CHORD.
If the sounds of soothing cellos and shimmering violins do not reduce you to a pool of tears with some degree of regularity, then it is guaranteed that you will have trouble not liking the tracks that Jon Lundbom and his band of rockers lay down on their new CD "Quavers! Quavers!" Nothing hides the raw playing power of this group. They simply take spontaneous improvisation to a new cosmic level and then proceed to jam it hard into tonal, rhythmic overdrive. Be prepared to go far, far out, and deep!
On this second release for Hot Cup Records, Jon Lundbom has rounded up a cast of characters that shouts itself hoarse as a 'who'swho' of the contemporary jazz rock syndicate: Alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, right out of a regular gig with the phenomenal rock act Bright Eyes. Tenor saxophonist Bryan Murray another Hot Cup alumnus and leader of Bryanand the Haggards. Bassist and composer Moppa Elliot, internationally acclaimed for his double bass work and leader of The Terrorist Bebop Band (obviously a musician for all seasons). Danny Fischer is on the drummer's stool straight from latching on to two ARIA-award "Best Jazz Album" and two Bell-award "Best Contemporary Jazz Album" winners. He is also co-leader of the group Spoke. The keyboards are manned by the much traveled and versatile Matt Kanelos, a native of Chicago, graduate of Roosevelt University and leader ofThe Smooth Maria.
With a line up of this caliber, a virtual collective of world summit jazz rock talent, further elaboration may appear trite, however, two tracks from Quavers! Quavers! scream out for special mention.
Track 4: "Meat Without Feet"ought to drive you into sustained, orgasmic, rhythmic fury. Danny Fischer's soul-stirring drum beat on this track has threaded its hypnotic groove from exotic Africa, across the sweltering Indian Sub-Continent, down through the carnival-crazed Caribbean and back to the rocking borough of Brooklyn; all along the way making many a native restless: Now it's Big Five Chord's turn to run the voodoo down.
Track 6: "Faith-Based Initiative" stretches, pummels and finally obliterates the boundaries of improvisational, spontaneous jazz rock. If the paroxysmic violence visited on Lundbom's guitar and Kanelos' keyboard, as they duel through primal screams and death-throe moans, is a harbinger of things to come; then faith-based vibrant followers of the band are in luck. With Quavers! Quavers! Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord have clearly broken through the torpid jazz rock ozone into geophysical rock orbit. Nirvana then, maybe lurking somewhere in the tortured subliminal message of the next big five chords they play.
So stay tuned.
Track Listing: On Jacation; The Bravest Little Pilot No. 2; Ears Like A Fox; Meat Without Feet; New Feats of Horsemanship; Faith-Based Initiative.