Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Harder On The Outside

Jerome Wilson By

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Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Harder On The Outside
A complex web of sampling, beat construction and live improvisation all led to this disc by guitarist Jon Lundbom and his group, Big Five Chord, a CD that is a heady stew of hard-edged funk grooves, squalling saxophones and gleeful guitar freakouts.

This project started with saxophonist Bryan Murray sampling old Big Five Chord recordings and constructing new beats out of them. He then passed his work back to Lundbom who built new compositions out of it and recorded them live in studio with the band. The resulting music is brash and noisy with the sense of romping play common to many of the recordings that appear on the Hot Cup label.

On most tracks bassist Moppa Elliott and drummer Dan Monaghan provide a slick funky bottom while the saxophonists soar and shriek, and Lundbom further irritates the mixture with injections of loud, bruising jazz- rock guitar. The resulting torrent sounds like James Brown's rhythm section jamming with Ornette Coleman's Prime Time band and guitarist John McLaughlin. "Three Plus" is a typical concoction. It has the two saxophonists, Murray and Justin Wood, amiably wailing over a rumbling jog laid down by the rhythm section, before Lundbom invades with a choppy rock solo and the saxophones begin rolling and swooping all over one another. Elsewhere, "Booberonic" leans heavily into stutter-step funk rhythms out of the drums and saxophone, before Lundbom takes a dizzying guitar solo. "People Be Talking" is a fast-tempoed swirl where Murray squawks mightily and Lundbom plays clipped dot-dash guitar runs like Joe Morris.

Other moods are in play on this set as well. Both takes of "Basic Bitches" present a more brooding vibe with the saxophones and guitar singing and warping over a stalking bass and drum rhythm that carries the dark ambiance of some of Miles Davis' electric music. On "Predisone" the saxophones play in unison and solo off a tight melody and lumbering beat while Lundbom takes center stage going from easy, springy chords to a sustained heavy rock blitz. "Cereal" is a lighter hybrid of guitar, fluttering around and through bumpy tenor and soprano lines, while "Fussing Blues" is a short but intense tumble of punk jazz thrash.

Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord lay down an energetic free-for-all on this CD that underscores heavy rock guitar and wild saxophone blowing with relentless funk beats for a sound full of crazed joy.

Track Listing

People be Talking; Basic Bitches; Prednisone; Booberonic; Cereal; Fussing Blues (Littig); Three Plus; Basic Bitches (alt.).


Jon Lundbom: guitar; Justin Wood: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bryan Murray: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; Moppa Elliott: bass; Dan Monaghan: drums.

Album information

Title: Harder On The Outside | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Hot Cup Records

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