The seventh album by guitarist Jon Lundbom and his septet Big Five Chord leaves little room for fence sitters. His music, like fellow band members Jon Irabagon and Moppa Elliott of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, walks the razor's edge between clamorous and cultured. It's comfort is often the discombobulation. That said, isn't that what jazz (real jazz) has always been about?
Jeremiah his latest release, follows a 2-disc live recording Liverevil (Hot Cup, 2013). While six of the seven tracks are from a studio session, the entire affair smells of the abraded rawness of live music.
The disc opens with "The Bottle," a collision between composed and improvised music. His septet of hard-bodied players tugs the music this way and that until saxophonist Bryan Murray honks-out a goose call on his balto! saxophone, which is an alto with a baritone mouthpiece and a plastic reed. The piece threatens to, yet never does come uncoupled. That theme, one of joy-riding in a stolen car, is ever present here. Credit the cohesion to Elliott and drummer Dan Monaghan.
As he has on previous records and performances, Lundbom adds to the septet. On "Scratch Ankle," saxophonist Justin Wood mixes his alto with Irabagon's tenor, trombonist Sam Kulik switches places. The music is devilishly tilted toward entropy, but collapse never comes. "Lick Skillet" opens with the extended trombone vocalization of Kulik that gives way to tight horn charts, Wood's flute, and Lundbom's scribbling lines. His guitar sound is oriented more towards Pete Cosey and John McLaughlin than he is to, say Kurt Rosenwinkel or Pat Martino. Lundbom wrote all the music here, except for the two traditional Wiccan pieces, "First Harvest" and "Wiccan Prayer Song Medley." Each piece is re- contextualized as the equivalent of modern witchcraft, or in other words, jazz music.
The Bottle; Frog Eye; Scratch Ankle; First Harvest; Lick Skillet; Wiccan Prayer Song
Jon Lundbom: guitar; Jon Irabagon: soprano saxophone; Bryan Murray: tenors
saxophone, balto! saxophone; Moppa Elliott: bass; Dan Monaghan: drums; Justin Wood:
flute, alto saxophone; Sam Kulik: trombone.