"Intense, unpredictable guerrilla jazz" - S. Victor Aaron, 'Something Else'
"Lundbom dismantles the guitar and rebuilds it into something completely brand new... This record smokes." - Erik Otis, 'Sound Colour Vibration'
"Bringing new ideas to what jazz guitar can be but not abandoning the rich legacy of jazz guitar." - Paul Acquaro, "Free Jazz Blog"
"[Big Five Chord] has been together for some time, and return here more imposing than ever... The sax thrash is as powerful as ever, and the guitar is even sharper. A-" - Tom Hull, 'Tom Hull on the Web'
"Not only is Jon Lundbom a jazz-contemporary electric guitarist at the forefront of new practice, his band Big Five Chord, individually and collectively, is one of the most important around today. And their latest, "No New Tunes," is perhaps the strongest album yet." - Grego Appelgate Edwards, 'Gappelgate Guitar and Bass Blog'
"['No New Tunes' is a] critics worst nightmare as trying to pigeon hole the sound here is next to impossible... This is what some critics mean when they use the phrase 'cutting edge' to describe a release... Lundbom is simply amazing while conducting a sonic exploratory on the visceral as well as the cerebral... Guaranteed to jump start your heart." - Brent Black, '@CriticalJazz'
Guitarist, composer, and bandleader Jon Lundbom resides in Brooklyn, New York City. He leads Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord, with which he has released five albums. Their latest, "No New Tunes," is now available from New York City's Hot Cup Records for download and on limited-edition 12" vinyl.
Jon's music - described as "Hardbop + Zeppelin + Schoenberg" (Dave Madden, 'SLUG') - is a showcase for his "intense phrasing and mind-altering solo spots" (Glenn Astarita, 'All About Jazz'), a "boundary-shattering shot of adrenaline that screws with your head and messes with your soul" (Jordan Richardson, 'The Seattle PI'). Jon has been called "an idiosyncratic genius harboring boundary-stretching notions in his musical make up" (CJ Bond, 'JazMuzic.com'); "hopefully Lundbom will start getting more attention for his fresh perspective, both as a writer and player" (Mike Shanley, 'ShanleyOnMusic'), "[Jon's playing brings] new ideas to what jazz guitar can be" (Paul Acquaro, 'Free Jazz Blog').
"No New Tunes" delves deeper into the intense style of group improvisation the quintet have been exploring for the past decade. The group is cohesive, cogent, and intensely exploratory, pushing the boundaries of form, timbre, development, and variation. Joining the four core members on this CD is drummer Dan Monaghan, a Philadelphia resident who has performed off and on with the group for several years. Monaghan, one of Philadelphia's top-call percussionists, brings a fiery intensity to the proceedings, his drumming equal parts 20th-century swing tradition and post-80s rock and metal. The combination contributes mightily to the myriad versions of jazz rock on an album that manages to swing a great deal more than previous Big Five Chord releases.
“No New Tunes” features six new compositions by Lundbom; it opens with a sample from Steve Coleman & Five Elements' 1993 recording “The Tao of Mad Phat: Fringe Zones” from which the album takes its title. This leads into “The Bad! Thing,” its raucous 6/4 ostinato opening into a sinuous and snakey saxophone melody. Lundbom plays a growling and intense guitar solo followed by a wild improvisation from the dueling saxophones of Bryan Murray on tenor and Jon Irabagon on soprano. The second track, “Talent for Surrender” (the second song in a triple meter), starts in slower, quieter, more controlled place; as the melody begins, Lundbom's cracky and angular spurts alternate with the saxophones playing in wide, open intervals. Murray jumps in with a forward-thinking and unusual tenor solo reminiscent of Sonny Rollins, dragging the song back towards its jangly and abrasive finish. “No New Tunes” continues with “And Be Made Visible,” a largely improvised ballad that kicks off with a spacious and airy duet between Lundbom and bassist Moppa Elliott, the depth of their harmonic and structural interplay a testimony to their decade-plus of musical partnership. Then another solo turn from Bryan Murray, who brings forth a subtle and beautifully-wrought improvisation over gentle propulsion from the rhythm section.
The second half of begins with “The Other Third One,” a rumbling, rocking, pocket-driven tune showcasing the extrasensory interplay between Elliott and drummer Dan Monaghan. After the strident and screeching melody, Murray unleashes his balto! saxophone with its patented “goose-strangling” technology for a boisterous and cacophonous romp. This is followed by Lundbom's intense, acerbic, and ultimately rocking solo turn. The last two tunes feature Jon Irabagon on the alto saxophone. The second-to-last track, “Follow the Swallow,” is an older composition of Lundbom's (oddly the only “old” tune on the album, from Jon's “title cover” period) built around the rhythm section figure alternating between syncopated eighth notes and 5:4. Irabagon starts off slowly, gradually developing his masterful solo from extended multiphonic techniques and thematic elements from the melody. Elliott and Monaghan are along for the ride, loosely building on and playing with the rhythmic elements while providing Irabagon spectacular interplay and support. The band backs down as Lundbom starts streaming notes through the dense rhythmic landscape engulfing and encroaching on all sides. The album concludes with “Of Being Done To,” a bright, uptempo, almost big-band-like number featuring a brilliant, swinging turn by Irabagon. As the swing breaks down, Lundbom begins a rhythmically open solo that drags the album to its inevitable conclusion.
Alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition is an alumnus of both Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Irabagon's playing cuts a wide swath of virtuosic mastery across many jazz and improvisatory styles, and he can be heard performing with a wide variety of ensembles including with jazz idols such as Kenny Wheeler and Dave Douglas and successful rock acts such as Bright Eyes. www.jonirabagon.com
Originally from West Virginia, tenor saxophonist Bryan Murray cut his teeth at the University of Kentucky before attending the Jazz Studies program at DePaul University. He leads Bryan and the Haggards, New York City's most decorated avant-country instrumental Merle Haggard cover band; their most recent release, “Still Alive and Kicking Down the Walls” is now available from Hot Cup Records. www.bryanmurray.net
Accomplished bassist and composer Moppa Elliott is leader of the “terrorist bebop band” Mostly Other People Do the Killing. A Pennsylvania native and graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Moppa's virtuosic work on the doublebass has garnered him international acclaim and numerous commendations from critics and listeners worldwide. www.moppaelliott.com
Drummer and Mansfield, Pennsylvania, native Dan Monaghan, one of Philadelphia's most in-demand drummers, teaches percussion at Temple and Widener Universities. Dan has performed and/or recorded with jazz luminaries such as Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Jimmy Bruno, Joe Magnarelli, and Randy Brecker and has performed at festivals including the Mellon Jazz Festival, the East Coast Jazz Festival, the Wilmington Latino Festival, and the Cremona Jazz Festival.
Formed in 2003, Big Five Chord is the primary vehicle for the music of New York City-based guitarist, composer, and bandleader Jon Lundbom. Over the past decade of performance and four previous recordings, Big Five Chord has built a vibrant following for their riotous mix of jazz, rock, and improvised music. Lundbom's guitar playing – often harsh and aggressive, sometimes approaching brutal – demonstrates a palpable dedication to and distinctly unique take on melody, phrasing, and structure. Ever more, Lundbom seems to be arriving at a singular, idiosyncratic voice saying something new and meaningful on the instrument. In the press, Lundbom's playing is often compared to such luminaries as Marc Ducret, Derek Bailey, John Scofield, and a young John McLaughlin. In addition to Big Five Chord, Lundbom performs with many other groups, most notably Bryan & the Haggards. www.jonlundbom.com