11

Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord: Liverevil

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord: Liverevil Blessed with one of the most talented and exciting backing bands in jazz today, guitarist Jon Lundbom returns with a mammoth 2-CD live epic. Liverevil captures the band in performance on their hometown stomping grounds, Brooklyn Fire Proof, in front of a rightfully enthusiastic crowd. Easily able to sustain interest over the course of a double album, Lundbom and Big Five Chord mix up their program of open-ended original jazz compositions with a set of traditional Wiccan prayer songs and a cover of "North Star" by the indie folk band Rural Alberta Advantage. They also revisit previously recorded material such as "Have You Ever Seen A Woman As Big As Martha?" which appeared on Lundbom's first two albums Big Five Chord (self-produced, 2003), and All The Pretty Ponies (self-produced, 2005), "On Jacation" from Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! (Hot Cup Records, 2011), and "Tick Dog" from Accomplish Jazz (Hot Cup Records, 2009). Plus there's a gaggle of never-previously-recorded originals.

Big Five Chord has a well-defined sound that combines elements of post-bop, free jazz, and jazz-rock but sounds like "none of the above." Part of this is the organic, jam-centric nature of the music. If you have guys like Lundbom, Jon Irabagon, and Bryan Murray in your band; you want to hear them solo! Also, the band members are drawn from a pool of musicians who've had a lot of experience studying and playing together in a variety of settings. Bassist Moppa Elliott and saxophonist Jon Irabagon are in Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and have been with Big Five Chord since its inception 11 years ago. Those two, along with Lundbom, also play in Bryan And The Haggards, saxophonist Bryan Murray's Merle Haggard tribute band. In short, there's a massive amount of playing experience here, and the musicians' comfort with one another really shines through on these live performances.

Though uniformly a great listen, the highlight of the two-disc set are the Wiccan prayer songs on CD#1. Lundbom is clearly fond of off-the- wall cover material; Big Five Chord's previous covers have included works by the Louvin Brothers, Syd Barrett, and Dr. Seuss. The prayer songs are moody, minor key pieces with long-ish melodies and open-ended structures which make them ideal vehicles for extended improvisational investigation. Keyboardist Matt Kanelos gets a hefty dose of spotlight on "Our Sun," and his Rhodes (or Rhodes- sounding keyboard) imparts more than a whiff of Bitches Brew to the proceedings. "Now Is The Time/The Maypole Dance" has a decidedly Eastern European flavor, sounding a bit like something Mihaly Dresch Dudas might've cooked up during one of his jazz-cum-Hungarian folk music smörgåsbords. Irabagon picks up on this immediately, and his typically daring, creative solo could be the work of a free jazz- obsessed Bulgarian wedding band saxophonist. Kanelos returns to impart icy Rhodes chill upon "First Harvest / Evening Shadows." This medley has a keening, Greensleeves-like 6/8 Druidic ritual feel, and benefits from Lundbom's incendiary soloing, which is followed by a completely insane duet improv by the saxophonists: Irabagon on soprano and Murray on balto (an alto saxophone played using a baritone saxophone mouthpiece and a plastic reed). Through it all, Elliott and drummer Dan Monaghan provide an incessantly simmering jazz groove.

The second disc is no less engaging. The band works with slower, heavier rhythmic feels throughout much of it. These are handled quite deftly by Monaghan, who's a master of a sort of jazz / rock / marching drum hybrid that sounds a little like a second line on Quaaludes. This approach works brilliantly on "Bring Forth The Battalions" and "Have You Ever Seen A Woman As Big As Martha." "On Jacation" is one of Lundbom's more idiosyncratic pieces, with a ricky-ticky little sing- song melody-something like Ornette Coleman's "Dancing in Your Head"-that gets repeated incessantly by various band members during the others' solos. By contrast, "These Changes" has a forward-leaning funky / mathy M-BASE feel and more snaky, incisive Rhodes from Kanelos. Despite getting a jazz makeover, "North Star" is surprisingly true to the original, though it gets taken way, way out. Lundbom is clearly not delving into this tune for irony's sake, and the result is a sincere coup de chapeau to a little-known but great indie rock band. ..."Martha" ends the album on a goofy, hyperactive note, with more jazz-march drumming and great solos by everyone.

Track Listing: CD1) The Difference; Tick-Dog; Our Sun; Now Is The Time/The Maypole Dance; First Harvest/Evening Shadows. (CD2) Bring Forth The Battalions; On Jacation; These Changes; North Star; Have You Ever Seen A Woman As Big As Martha?.

Personnel: Jon Lundbom: guitar; Jon Irabagon: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bryan Murray: tenor saxophone, balto saxophone; Moppa Elliott: bass; Dan Monaghan: drums; Matt Kanelos: keyboard.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Hot Cup Records


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Chromola CD/LP/Track Review Chromola
by John Eyles
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn CD/LP/Track Review Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Nature City CD/LP/Track Review Nature City
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin CD/LP/Track Review Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 23, 2017
Read This Is The Uplifting Part CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Wonders" CD/LP/Track Review Wonders
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Christmastime in New Orleans" CD/LP/Track Review Christmastime in New Orleans
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!